Commentary

June 20, 2014

Chasing runner’s high

Senior Airman Michael Smith
17th Training Wing Public Affairs

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — I hear it all the time: “I hate running.” To be honest, I didn’t like it too much either, until five years ago when it was taken away from me. My only goals back then were to run track for Clemson University and make it to the Olympics — running consumed me. I pushed myself to train six days a week, even through shin splints. Then, before I knew it, I had stress fractures, sidelining me for six months. Within the first month, I realized how much running was a part of my life, not only for physical fitness, but also mental fitness. Without having an outlet for my stress and anxiety, I quickly found myself falling down a spiral of depression. It was the longest six months of my life. When the healing process was finally over, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. I was literally ready to hit the ground running. I started off slowly with a couple of laps at the local track and slowly increased the distance week by week, until I felt comfortable enough to do a road run. I challenged myself to beat my personal record and run non-stop for six miles. Everything was going great, until mile three when I hit the proverbial wall. It felt like I had just been paid a visit by a dementor, a psyche-consuming being from the Harry Potter series. I didn’t want to go any further. I felt defeated. That is when I decided to dig deep and push through the pain. All of a sudden, the pain went away. One of the greatest feelings ever was running without even thinking about it. Before I knew it I was on the final stretch, and at that moment I was hooked on the runner’s high. According to researcher David A. Raichlen, humans report a wide range of neurobiological rewards following moderate and intense aerobic activity, also referred to as the “runner’s high,” which can encourage habitual aerobic exercise. Now, I run for an hour or more, multiple times a week. I love the euphoric feeling of my mind being free of any worries. No matter what happens at home or work, running is my number one self-prescribed medication. Nothing works better to get me at ease and put everything into a better perspective. There are plenty of times where I grudgingly force myself to go on a short run, and end up running double what I had planned because of the high. No matter if I’m stressed, sad, angry, energetic, confused or happy – the runner’s high is my go-to drug, so to speak. Running, for me, has changed from a burden to a gift, and I have become a better person because of it. Marathoner Gail W. Kislevitz said it best: “Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 FightingFalcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat sce...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar

Lessons learned: Deployment exercise gives new insight

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kali L. Gradishar Master Sgt. Nicholas Alessi, New Horizons engineer 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., lays block at the Edward P. Yorke school construction site April 9...
 
 
CMSAF1

CMSAF Cody visits Nellis Airmen

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, James A. Cody speaks to 99th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen about surveying equipment July 17, during a visit to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Cody visited various units to experience first-han...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kiuta B. Ika

Dempsey takes reins of NTTR

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kiuta B. Ika Maj. Gen. Jay Silveria, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander, passes the Nevada Test and Training Range guidon to the new NTTR commander, Col. Thomas E. Dempsey III, during a c...
 
 
1000-hours

Pilot reaches milestone, achieves 1000 flight hours

Maj. Matt Allen, a 706th Reserve Squadron full-time air reserve technician who is assigned to the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron as an F-22 test director, stands by an F-22 Raptor before flight July 21, at Nellis Air Force B...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Senior Airman Daniel Millard, 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels journeyman, prepares to fuel an aircraft participating in Red Flag 14-3, July 22, at Nellis Air Force...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin