MOTIVATION TO MOVE
by: Lindsay Demchuk
Alarm buzzing, I sweep my arm over to turn it off. Exchanging the comfort of my warm pajamas for shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball cap, I rub the last traces of sleep from my eyes as I take my iPod and trundle down the stairs to where they’re ready and waiting.
Most mornings, I hate them and curse them as I would, initially, far rather be found curled under the covers in a hazy reverie than in their company. But as I sit and begin to pull my socked feet into the perfectly formed, comfortable mold that has cushioned these feet for many miles, the cursing stops and I fall back in love with my running shoes all over again.
It has been about eight years since I began running outside of the forays mandatory for my middle school gym class. At the beginning, my runs were conducted with the sole purpose of feeble attempts to subside the wheezing, coughing, sputtering and profuse sweating that marked the conclusion of every single one of those mandatory gym classes.
As time has progressed, running has been my greatest ally and consequently my fiercest foe. When confronted with first experience of the death of a close friend, it kept me company as I struggled to sort it out and heal. During a brief period of adolescent rebellion, it was my saving grace – a release from frustration and tension all while confronting me with the necessity of dealing with the hurt that served to catalyze it all. I used it as the means to a very possibly destructive end, which it halted again, as it has served to provide clarity of mind at all times.
Running is my release, my therapist, the one I turn to when I need to get away, to think, to clarify, to create, to change. Somewhere between the initial inconsistent steps incongruent with my breaths and the steady, syncopated rhythm of my steps and breath that carry me for miles, the once-epic issues are resolved and I end feeling better then when I begun.
There is great value to being active. Aside from the massively long list of numerous physical and biological benefits, being active does wonders for your emotional, cognitive and, arguably (when done with others) social health. Running may not be your cup of tea (I am well aware, many of friends seem to be of that ilk) but find something that you enjoy: swimming, walking, yoga, soccer, basketball… the list goes on. And do it. Challenge yourself in it and be sure to enjoy it. It is one thing that you will never regret.