I look at running as meditation. It allows me to decompress, download, and get rid of a lot of negative stuff. That's my secret. I go inside myself. -- Jeff Corwin, American animal and nature conservationist
This quote came from Runner's World the other day. After reading it several times, I realized how very true it really is for me. In August, I started talking with a counselor/therapist about some issues in my life. Since the beginning, Michelle has talked to me about meditating. She firmly believes that doing a "brain dump" and sitting quietly, focusing on breathing, etc. will help reduce stress and allow clarity of the mind. Unfortunately, this just isn't really me. For those that know me and all my craziness, it is obvious that sitting down for 10/15/20 minutes to meditate is not in my nature.
So, how did I get to feeling that running is meditation? While I started running for the physical benefits, I see now that it goes beyond that. I continue to run for the benefit of my physical well-being, but I also continue to run for the benefit of my mental well-being. The time I spend running, with or without a running partner, is a time to reflect. I generally run on the greenway - the greenways are not terribly crowded, they are scenic, and fairly quiet. When I run alone, I focus on my breathing and letting my mind move away from the day-to-day things in life. When I run with Sarah, we tend to use the time running to talk about things on our minds - and it turns into a very helpful therapy session of sorts.
While I haven't completely given up on meditation in the traditional sense, I love what running as a form of meditation has done for me. In my running, I am able to tune out everything around for just a little bit and just be.