I have now been running since July of last year and there have been many benefits to adding running to my daily routine. Today I am going to only talk about one of those benefits; its ability to teach you how to handle discomfort more gracefully.
On any given run one comes across killer hills, sudden leg cramps, even slight discomforts that may come, yet, within just a few blocks all is back to normal again, this may happen several times in a run and at the end of each discomfort everything always feels just fine....a few blocks later. Similarly, in my daily life, I have noticed that when I come across annoying, uncomfortable and mood-altering situations in I now react to them much differently than I did before running entered my life. I know that with time, anger, moodiness, contempt will all pass and I'll be fine. All that's required is full, unquestionable acceptance of the negative mood (not fighting it) and patience.
Last week I woke up moody, I went through the whole morning with this added heavy cloud hanging over me. Typically, needing to rid myself of the discomfort of this bad mood, I would have either started a fight with my loved ones, or would have turned every situation to some negative result where I would have to later dole out apologies of all sorts. This time though was different, I chose instead to simply allow the dark mood to live in me as long as it needed to be there, that I would not fight it. I treated the negative feeling like a ball of bad energy that would soon fade to nothing and leave my body. Sure enough by the evening I was fine, the cloud had lifted, the mood had left my body as trusted it soon would. I felt so incredibly proud of myself for I came out of one of these moods unscathed. In the past I would have surely done some damage along the way in my attempts to rid myself of the discomfort of the bad mood. Not this time. This time, I had not gotten into any fights with anyone, I did not snap at anyone, I did not even negatively react to the many normally annoying situations that popped up on any given day.
I see running as the Universe's gift to me this year; I simply cannot imagine my life without it. The benefits that running have brought to my life in just 6 months are so numerous and so amazingly life-changing that I cannot help to want to try and convince everyone of them....