The great thing about going to the doctor is the magazines. Sometimes I wish they’d never call my name and I could just sit and leaf through Time, Sports Illustrated and the New Yorker all day.
Anyhow, I was perusing Runner’s World at a recent doctor visit, a magazine I subscribed to when I was a serious runner, instead of a fat, slow old man who struggles through his morning jog. But there was an interesting story about the mental health benefits of running that got me thinking.
You always hear people talk about the positive energy generated by running, and this was a theme of the story, but in my experience running has been a time to stew over things that made me angry. It’s been a time to re-live incidents — very often work related — that pissed me off and to go through what I wish I’d done or said.
No, it’s not always negative stuff. Sometimes I’ve come up with constructive solutions to problems, and many times formulated approaches for creative endeavors — but there’s always a healthy dose of foot pounding over people and situations that I find vexing.
My knowledge of psychology is limited to a three credit course taken at SUNY Plattsburgh in 1979, but doesn’t it make sense that this is a good thing? It’s probably better to push through negative thoughts during a run that to bring them to work or into your relationships at home.
I’d be lying if I said that everything I’ve come up with while running has improved things — but how much worse would it have been without the running?
So off I go.