I went for a run tonight after work, getting off the train a few stops early and shambling four-and-a-half miles home.
I rarely run nowadays (baby, laziness), and had failed for weeks to run after getting home on a Friday. As Tim Ferriss would say, self-discipline is overrated, so I put myself in a position to follow through, taking all my running gear to work with me.
Within minutes of exiting the train station, I felt wrong. My body had forgotten what running was like. While I’d ran a week or so ago, I’d only ran a handful of times over the previous two months. I’d recently felt winded after climbing 40 stairs to the overpass of a train station, but had put that down to tiredness. But running had revealed how truly out-of-shape I am.
My legs felt off, my lungs like tiny little old person lungs. My form was terrible. I was stomping away and off-balance. My body had forgot what used to feel like second nature.
My mind had forgotten too. Although I take long walks nowadays, my brain didn’t know what to do with this absence of stimulus. It had no books to concentrate on, my phone was tucked away in my backpack. The old mind desperately looked for distraction, but struggled to find any.
Thankfully, within twenty minutes or so, I slightly started to take shape as a runner again. My form went from terrible to mediocre. My brain relaxed.
After 45 minutes I arrived home, immediately feeling the difference from a normal, run-less night. The overclocked mind has slowed. I felt aware. I’m incredibly absent-minded, but I was able to focus on everything I needed too once I got home. I could see what needed done, without the usual mental distractions. I was relaxed. My legs were comfortable heavy. Sometimes I forget just how good running feels.