Running is addicting

The t-shirt is a blank canvas

A mini-retirement at 23

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In childhood and adolescence, my identity was inextricably tied up with sport. Athletics, touch rugby, and football among other things, you name it, I probably played it. Perhaps it was just the overwhelming energy one has in youth, or a product of the environment I was in, I could not see a life for myself without sport. Though like many others, I discovered more of what the world had to offer in the way of cultural, academic, and professional pursuits and thus left my boots up to dry so-to-speak. It is been six or so years since I made a consistent habit out of exercise in general, and the sport I have chosen is running.

I never was a fan of running. My specialisation in athletics was in the 100m and 200m, and thus middle-distance and long-distance were among my biggest fears. My stamina was poor for someone who purported to be so active. Over the couple of months of running I have done, I have found it unimaginably addicting. The dopamine hit associated with logging a run and seeing the statistics is second to none. As someone that studied statistics, I love my numbers, and being able to see so metrics for my runs makes it so much fun. For example, my favourite feature is checking my heart rate throughout a run to see when and where I was exerting myself and taking it easy.

The other major source of motivation has been from seeing the scale everyday. I started eating healthier and doing intermittent fasting in tandem with the daily running. Slowly but surely, I see myself shave off 100 grams here and 200 grams there. Seeing this reduction in weight most days has been inherently motivating. It is a (mostly) reliable sign of progress, plain and simple. My attention is on the day-to-day of the process, and not so much week or months from now.

The daily and consistent exercise has given me so much energy. I run mostly in the mornings after getting a bit of work done around 10-11, around the time most of my peers would be getting their coffee. I feel like running has the same effect on me as caffeine has on others, it is a mid-morning boost of energy that I need to fuel the rest of my day. It sounds so counter-intuitive, especially given that my eating period for the day is 2pm to 6pm hence I exercise in a fasted state, but it just does.

I never imagined that I would be someone that would voluntarily submit themselves to running everyday, but the constellation of factors that I described above have been too compelling. While the initial motivation was weight loss, I don’t view this as a short-term endeavour. Just he opposite actually, this is very much a lifestyle in my mind, one that I hope to live for the rest of my days.

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