Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Run commuting

My work place is not far from where I live. If I choose the shortest way there, it's only 4 km. Sometimes I run home from work, taking a detour to make my run 10 km. It's ok, if somewhat lacking in variation.

Last week I finished work early and decided to run further than usual. I had some chores to run (pun not intended!), so at the end of my extended route I ran to the optician to book an appointment and then to the store to buy some stuff we needed. Then I ran home. All in all I ran 14 km. This utilitarian running gave me satisfaction in a different way than ordinary running. I felt that I was making great use of time that would otherwise be "lost", that is by walking or driving to the store, or cycling from work. Two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Yesterday I received a note in the post informing me that a package had arrived for me. I knew that it was my new running backpack and socks that I had ordered. So I went for a run, first in the forest (which was dark and deserted by that time) and then on my way home past the post office to pick up the package. Again, the satisfaction of using this "dead" time to get exercise felt amazing.

Running has not always been a thing that people do to get in shape, or because they think it's fun. It used to be a means of survival, in order to hunt prey. Maybe by using running in a utilitarian way we "remember" that our bodies are made to run, hence the satisfaction derived from such activities.

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