The other day, a friend shared this quote on Facebook, and at first it made me chuckle; then it made me think.
The quote, is from the injured Anton Krupicka’s blog:
“An unsolicited bit of advice: don’t construct your coping-with-life mechanisms around something as capricious and physically abusive as running up and down mountains.”
I had to read it a couple of times before it really stuck – you know, hyphenated word phrases and all. The thing is, if I followed Anton’s advice, I’d probably fall apart. For me, running is a coping-with-life mechanism. And I think it’s probably fair to say it’s a coping mechanism for a lot of runners, if not all.
When you ask people why they run, you get a variety of answers ranging from the annoyed to the long winded. Often, you’ll hear about the health benefits. Dropping pounds is an obvious reason some people get out there. You’ll also hear people espousing the beauty of nature and self-transcendence; and of course, there the least introspective, but fairly common, I-love-running answer. While some of these responses are honest truth, there are undoubtedly a number that are lies, half-truths and a fair prevalence of omitted truth; easy answers to appease the questioner and move the conversation along. I do it. I’m sure you’ve probably done it in the past, too.
Because running is a coping mechanism and that means there is something wrong with us. The thing is, everyone has coping devices, some binge on food or drugs, strip clubs and whores, gambling, television, QVC. (Even ascetic monks cope.)
So why do I run?
Because I’m addicted to endorphins. Because if I didn’t run, I’d be a fat lazy slob with a drinking problem. Because I’d be a rather shoddy father. Because I’m an escapist. Because I’m a hobbyist. Because running helps me cope.
Happy Friday. Get out there and cope this weekend.