I like to run outside. The fresh air, the music playing in my headphones and the fact that I can lose myself in thought and creativity to the point that I nearly forget I am running.
Running outside my entire life I have developed a bit of an opinion about running inside. That it sucks. No offense yet to anyone who runs inside. I get that for some of you it is easier on your knees, etc., etc., etc. But for me it simply sucks.
I had to run inside earlier this week when it was 11 degrees outside. How do you do it? Seriously, I had to spend my entire time trying to not run off the damn thing. I could not get the elevation figured out so it was like I was running at the coast the whole time. Even when I increased the elevation it was nothing like climbing a real hill.
After three miles and about busting my ass at least that many times I ended my “run”.
I did not think much about running inside again until the temperature went up and I was able to run outside a couple days later. During my run I realized it was not so much that I was running on a treadmill inside the other day that drove me nuts. It was the fact that I came to a harsh realization. Life can easily become like running inside. You are getting on a machine and running getting nowhere. Isn’t that the same way you feel when you go to work some days? You are basically walking into a machine and spinning wheels or helping spin some huge wheel with others. You get places, you have earnings calls but the movement is almost invisible.
When you are outside you are exposed. You smell the fresh air as well as the exhaust of a passing car. You feel the pavement change to concrete change to grass. You feel the air hit you as your run either with or against the wind. One of my favorite aspects of running outside is the external stimuli you get that takes your mind into areas you would never go sitting at a desk or looking through some window running inside.
When you are outside your mind reacts. I have come up with some great ideas while running. My wife can attest to whenever I come in from a run at home I usually go directly to the notebook and start writing in order to get my ideas down right alongside the sweat and heavy breathing.
For me to present a clearer picture I would like to enlist the help of my friend Jackson Pollock:
OK, well they are not really Mr. Pollock’s work but his inspiration was there! The pictures are actually the work of the work of the Milam family. As you can see, the “Milam” on the top is a bit drab. For what I can see, it is two little dots. One kind of looks like a sperm. And the “Milam” on the bottom. Well that is a little more exciting is it not? I felt that for some of you visual Jacks, that the “Milam” representations of Treadmill and Running Outside might make my point clearer.
Outside (no pun) of simply running you can continue to draw parallels between other inner and outer focus points. Are you an introvert or any extravert? Are you risk averse or do you take more risks? Are you comfortable with status quo or are you always trying to shake things up? Are you more interested in showing off your bod and socializing or are you more of a metaphysical kinda person?
I do hope I have not offended too many indoor runners. If I have, then come tell me how much you disagree with me while I am running outside!