One of our kids lays around and utters, “There’s nothing to do.” Or someone’s tired or crabby or dealing with a problem. And that’s when I resist suggesting they “Go for a run.”
In the past, my kids looked at me like I believe in voodoo, and I'm pretty sure they're thinking, “Dad, you’re a little crazy.” Of course “Go for a run” conjures up images of red-faced, sweaty, stinky Dad, and so they wonder why would running be a good option for them?
I recognize that running isn’t for everyone and it’s not the solution for every situation. But my natural impulse is to frame daily challenges, hassles, and opportunities in the context of a run.
Nothing to do? A relationship matter? Stuck making a decision? An easy run is often a best option to keep me going when it’s unclear what to do. Even when running appears the least logical for others, it works for me!
Tired? Some of my best runs have come after working on my feet as a concession stand volunteer or presenting training all day at work.
Figuring things out? One morning during an ordinary run I was mulling over household finances and wondering how to pay a repair expense. Then like seeing an oasis, I recalled out of nowhere that we had some money in a forgotten account. Without that run, not sure if I would ever have remembered those funds to meet the expense.
Some people believe we run to “get it all out,” like we have demons that need to be released. Maybe, but mostly I run to arrive at a place that I can’t reach otherwise—where I’m mentally and physically restored— more than if I laid around waiting to get energized or zapped with a flash of brilliance.
My maturing kids actually do understand more about running, and their glances at me like I’m a voodoo doctor have stopped. They each run when their schedules and lives allow, on their own terms. So these days when I suggest going for a run, their responses are more like, “not now, but maybe later.”