Without Goals

Some people ask me why I run. I find it a very difficult question for me to answer. Perhaps the simplest answer is I do it for a number of reasons, some more obvious than others. I went for a run tonight and it was a clear reminder of one of those reasons. But this time it was different. Perhaps for the first time, I went for a run without setting any goals. I didn’t know how far I wanted to run or how fast. I didn’t even know where I was going to go. I just put on my running shoes and took off down the street. There was only about thirty minutes of daylight left, so I figured mother nature would keep me from doing anything too crazy, since I wasn’t prepared to run in the dark.

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After going a few blocks, I hopped onto the local bike trail where surprisingly, I didn’t see a single person. It was quiet. No music. Just me and the sound of my feet against the pavement. There was a gentle autumn breeze and the evening sun flickered as it turned into twilight. I didn’t even bother to start my Garmin, which is a huge accomplishment given how obsessed I am with statistics. Every time I run, I have a distance, a time, or a pace that I strive to reach. Sometimes, my goal is to just finish a race, but there’s always a goal. This time I had no goals or expectations. Instead, I immersed myself in the moment, cleared my head, enjoyed every breath of fresh air, and let my mind wander a bit. But not too much 😉

For me, running allows me to narrow the scope of what can sometimes be an overly complex world. In the heat of the moment, when I really begin to push myself physically, I find myself in a peculiar state of mind. Convoluted thoughts that would typically keep my mind racing for hours tend to drift away. For someone who is often overthinking and over analyzing every day situations, this provides a pleasant recess, and allows me a special kind of mental relaxation. This is one of many different mindfulness states that I experience while running, and all of them help me grow and develop personally,  ultimately making me feel healthier and happier. After all, we should all be doing what makes us happy. Like Andy and Red always said, “Get busy living or get busy dying.”

Now it’s time for a beer! I mean, who doesn’t want to reach 1000 unique beers on Untappd? Gotta have goals, right?

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