Run Like a Kid

I have never been a big fan of running. I think it comes from my being an athlete when I was young and every time you messed up or the team was being punished for not playing well we had to run for what felt like days.

I also am the type of person who loves to lift weights. I really enjoy getting in the gym and seeing how many reps I can do. Setting goals and meeting them and continuing to see myself get stronger and stronger and the weights get larger and larger. I really enjoy this time. Which also means I am not a big lover of cardio and let's face it running is cardio.

I know that cardio is very important and I do it regularly, but I prefer the high intensity of a plyometric workout like Insanity or any of the plyo workouts in P90X. These test me and quite often leave me bent over sweating on the floor. So when it comes to running I just would do sprints and try and "get it over with" as fast as I could.

That was until I was put on Wake Island for so very long with my only time to get outside in the evening so even I could not sprint every day. I first came up with the plan to do sprints one day, bike the next, and kayak the third and then repeat. It worked for a short time, but after the second bike ride it was obvious that the roads on Wake are just not in good enough shape for you to get a good ride in (at least not without jarring and bouncing the mess out of you) and that the weather was going to be a real factor in if I could get out in a kayak or not.

So I started to put in some regular runs. At first it was the same as it had always been in that it was a struggle to keep my focus and to "feel" like I really got in a good workout. However then it all started to change. As I continued to run and up my distance my body started to improve and how I felt when I ran started to change as well. I started to get that feeling you see on a kids face when they just take off and run for no reason, the feeling of pure joy and happiness. At first I thought it was just a fluke a onetime thing, but as I continued to run I repeatedly would feel that pure sense of joy, just like when I was a little kid and would run just for the heck of it without a care in the world.

I know that this sensation is what people call the "runners high" and it is the brain chemistry releasing endorphins. I also know now that I have been running regularly that it is also the same feeling that you felt when you were a kid and would run "just for the fun of running" because you were happy.

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