Running is a Religion for some

A good friend of mine who was a picture of health five years ago in Venice Beach California does not know my name today from early age Alzheimer’s. My partner since 1982 is a constant stress in my life. We do not see eye to eye and stay together purely due to major league business interest. I work from 1am to 4pm Monday through Friday and a bit on the weekends. Working a call center and web development company in the Philippines means working opposite hours,extremely stressful. The world around us, like the incredible Japan earthquake and tsunami makes it seem like the end of the world we know today. I have a 92 year old father and he is in wonderful shape and drives a car, but when he gets a cold, the doctor puts him in the hospital as a precaution as we, the family, worry to death. My brother who i brag about as a career UNICEF worker and now a UN employee rarely, if ever, calls me. I have to call him, and having very different personalities seems he wants to get off the phone with me very quickly. I do not even think he knew what i did for a living before i rammed our company website down his throat. I constantly engage him in his endeavors but he does not reciprocate. Same with my sister who is engulfed in her two children and three grand children. I brag about her abilities to my friends as an event planner and really not sure she even knows what i do for a living. I also must call her as she does not call me. I think we all have these problems as such in life which create our own inner turbulence.

The point is that life can tear one apart and often, it is the small things. I use to think about successful people and how they do it, until watching some of these same people fall apart during recent recessions, so we all have problems. We worry to death about our children and health and money and it never stops. Many put their lives in the hands of God as a way to deal with the extreme world we live in. Most of my friends who are very well educated might attend a Church or a Temple or a Mosque but mostly believe in a supreme being only by definition and not the written word, so more or less agnostic of such. They use religion as a way to cope with life’s problems.

The funny parallel is where i live in Baguio City in the Philippines, there is a monastery across the street. I as a grave yard shift worker will often run at 6am the same time there is a Catholic mass across the street. I seem to pass the same people going to church every morning. So seems like running has become my religion.

I run twice a day, about 45 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the early afternoon. I do a one and half hour or more run on Sundays. I never miss a day. The worse the weather the more i enjoy myself. I have a lovely family of 4 kids and a long marriage of going on twenty years. My business is good and my newest partner in our Web company/Call center is a super guy that i feel lucky to have. Where i live, the people are great and weather is perfect. So the good parts of life are enhanced by one’s running passion.

So this brings us to the theme of this book on running. Running takes away the stress of most of the problems in life and it heightens the enjoyment of the good things in life. After a nice run before a stressful day or after a stressful day, everything becomes good and alright. The endorphin high has been defined often by runners. Some say it’s like going back to the mothers womb meaning security, and for me just the feeling that everything is alright. A constant rebirth of sorts.

I Won’t grow Up

I remember watching a Seinfeld episode where George and Jerry were about to pitch their sitcom script to NBC and George got scared as hell. Jerry asks him why and George refers to the fact that he was going into a meeting with real business people in the real world, with suits and ties and wow, funny, but a revelation. We must be responsible adults as we have family obligations and we got bills to pay. We know the rich and famous who have no money problems but mostly have a whole other set of other problems that is serious stuff- like security and having some privacy in their lives- which means they can not go to many places we love without special considerations.

So what does this have to do with running? When 20 minutes into a run and we start to get the great feeling we all get, it always brings us to understand what’s important in life. The simplicity of the feeling of happiness and contentment, and knowing that the complications of the world is not really so complicated. We sleep, we eat, we communicate, and our needs can be so simple. For me i know i can’t be that real man in the real world wearing a suit and tie and pretending to be an adult. I refuse to grow up and why should we. Behind closed doors we act very differently with our child-like behavior surfacing. We are just big babies by nature.

Running really brings out that quality, from my experience, of bringing us back to our youth as we feel so good, and the world all of a sudden becomes not such a serious stressful place. The run puts things in prospective. Okay, yes there are times we must be all grown up as there is no choice especially during crunch time and working our professions. But the point is what could be more fun than being in our loving child-like behavior, being our true selves, and running is a super tool to bringing us there.

I asked a good friend of mine in his fifties, “How is work”? His response was not great and it’s not what i want to be when i grow-up. So let’s never grow up.

Where To Run

by: Bruce Silverman

I do not like to run on tracks unless traffic is a problem like where i live in Baguio in the Philippine Islands.

My street actual measures 3 blocks so back and forth is a half mile and serves me well for 3am runs which i do frequently based upon my profession of working late hours.