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.


 
 

 
police5

99th SFS honors fallen wingmen during National Police Week

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Airmen assigned to the 99th Security Forces Squadron participate in a 10K memorial ruck march for National Police Week at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. The march was one of...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Dispelling remotely piloted aircraft myths

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III conducts an all-call with the men and women of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Ba...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Yokota aircrew recounts Nepal earthquake

Courtesy photo Members of the U.S. Air Force view the damage in Nepal firsthand following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that damaged many parts of the country. KATHMANDU, Nepal— We were tasked with taking an 11-man...
 

 
EOD6

IEDs, UXOs no problem for EOD

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jake Carter Senior Airman Kalin Fuller, 99th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal journeyman looks out from inside his bomb suit at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 13. Be...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis

Maintenance shop saves $9 Million through innovative process

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis Curtis Klitzka, 547th Intelligence Squadron sheet metal painter, uses a drill to attach a roof to a golf cart at the Threat Training Facility Maintenance Shop on Nellis Air...
 
 
Golf2

Disabled veterans discover ‘Hope’ through golf program

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Participants in the Professional Golfers’ Association of America Hope Program practice their swing at the driving range on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., May 14. The PGA Ho...
 




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