Fitness happens when we stimulate adaptations. That takes a certain amount of stress, of course. Hormesis is the ideal. The just-right porridge, if you will. Unless you're paleo. Then you're shit out of luck, I guess.
That, generally, is agreed upon. How we go about doing it, however, is more complicated.
Good thing I didn't give a shit about that today. Ran... two and half hours? Maybe? And slow. So fucking slow, you wouldn't believe it. Or maybe you would. I don't know exactly. But I got passed. And I let it happen. Just let the ship pass in the night, no salvos traded. New to me. But worthwhile.
This is what I mean when I say "hobbyjogger". Says so right up in my bio section, see? I mean that, while I do want to race well - whatever that is to mean - and get faster than whatever I am now, my primary goal in running... is to run. Kind of a lot. Sometimes fast. But mostly an hour or two of steady improvisation. If you were feeling generous you could call it a fartlek, and then laugh because the word sounds funny.
Hello again. I worked 12 hours today. Nothing remarkable about that, and I'm not complaining. Overtime pays extra, so, yeah. Could be worse. I majored in English at a kinda meh public university. Could be a lot worse.
But 12 hours of work is, while "good" in a sense, not exactly what I'd call fun. Running is. Ergo, we come to the running, or the hobbyjogging, as it were. The thing that I do to refresh myself, to revive myself, to... well, you know. Not sit on my ass all day, basically. Feel alive. Feel the wind, the muscles firing, the sensations that accompany the movement, but can't wholly define it.
This is running, of course, but with no competitive aim. The goal here is not specifically to stimulate fitness adaptations, but rather stimulate the mind, the body, and whatever notion of the soul you feel comfortable with.
Put it this way: When leaving work after a long day, my coworkers will usually ask if I still have to run. I try not to respond with quite so pithy a cliche, but in sum, I basically do say that I get to. It does smell a bit of self help bullshit speak, but there it is nonetheless.
This, I consider to be my most significant running related talent. And, taking the long view, it's a good one to have. I seem to be a very high responder to the chemical cocktail that results when my feet hit the ground 180 times in a minute, while my heart beats 150.
It's an exercise in presence. The ultimate, for me. The respite from a five hour talk with my philosophy and religious studies friends about the nature and purpose of existence, or the grind of cubicle life. It turns things off and turns them on. Offers self discovery, actualization, and definition.
You push the boulder up the hill, and maybe it comes back down - maybe it always will - but damn if the view isn't something, and if the trek wasn't better.