My friend who was a classical musician, at the age of 53 was a single divorced man with an all grown-up son and had the true life of freedom. His name is Cotton Crowe. He was living out of his van at Coco beach, Florida. He also was an active duty military musician playing for the army field band that played at official engagements at the White House. Cotton, while living out of his Van was able to use the facilities at Patrick Airbase at Coco Beach Florida for showering and other essential needs. The Airbase was close to where he parked his Van. So here, he was living out of his van and running daily on the beach and playing his French Horn at early morning hours in the freedom of nature without a care in the world. He later went back to a more conventional lifestyle but he looks upon those years in his van as possibly his happiest years. So freedom is a state of mind in this writer’s opinion, and Cotton typifies it.
Most runners I know have the ability to live simple lives because they are able to simplify their needs as a result of running. I myself pay little to no attention to politics and things I have little or no control over and my evening meal on the hedonistic side are my favorite times of my day. I appreciate my family much more with my running dedication as it is a calming element. So whether you’re young or old or rich or poor, freedom is purely a personal mental state and running brings to one a true sense of freedom, in my experience as well as others i know who have a running addiction.
So remember if you’re struggling financially or with other aspects in your life that are not perfect, running is a natural drug that let’s one think much more clearly about what’s really important in one’s life.. And that’s what freedom is all about in this author’s opinion.
The working world can be tough at times, and so can personal and interrelationships. Folks with major league egos, or the lack of it, lash out in your work place because of insecurity, or just out of stress, as well as yours. Lack of concern for one another in the world we live in. We have been told and have learned to take care of our own, and that’s as far as it goes for most.
The world can be a petty place at times. It teaches us to hate, and learning to care about one’s own security with money, our interconnection is lost. It can be described as tit for tat.
So why are we runners different? Or are we? I say yes, as every time we go for that hour or more run and come back sweating, huffing, puffing and feeling great, we have a better understanding of reaching out and interconnecting. Why is this? Why should we care about such unimportant matters when we feel so good and know that our physical health, one of the things we are in control of, is successful?
A nice bottle of water, or the new day concept of chocolate milk or protein shake, then to the shower for a wonderful rinse off, and it’s like a rebirth. It feels great, so who cares about all the insignificant stuff in the world? We have found the daily rejuvenation. It is like starting life all over again after that hour or so run. Do other runners feel like I do with these daily new beginnings?
I believe if one is conscious of some basic laws of nature, then running can increase the immune system to ward off illness.
With proper rest and a decent diet combined with respecting the law of nature, I have not been ill to the point of being bed ridden for over 20 years now. My formula is the following:
When feeling a cold or flu coming on, slow down your running and activity but don’t stop your daily cycle, just slow down. Take it at a slower pace. Most medical doctors agree that resigning oneself to the bed may be the worst thing one can do and there are many reasons, including physiological and mental effects.
Then there are antibiotics. I have not taken one in over twenty years. I am not a medical doctor and if I have a real illness which I understood antibiotics were needed, then for sure I would follow my doctor’s advice. But I believe they can break down one’s immune system over time.
So what to do when you feel a cold or flu coming on? Drink plenty of water. During your run, try to spit out as much phlegm as you can. Shorten your runs. Be a little more conscious about diet and use your instincts about your work and daily activities. And relax when you can as you need to slow down. As many doctors say, the common cold is a necessity because it is the warning signs that your system is breaking down. So accept the warning signs and follow some rules of nature and you will find that your immune system will strengthen and will be able to combat major illness and you can avoid a full blown cold or flu.
So we all have different methods. What is yours?