The Top Six Things I Love About Running by Kaylah, Melbourne Bellydancer
1. It’s Convenient and Always There
One thing I love about running is you can just put on your shoes and run. Besides sneakers and sports clothes, I don’t need any special equipment and, wherever I am – at home, the office on my lunch break, travelling, in the city or country – I can run. I also run to work two days a week. It takes about the same time as driving or public transport but is a whole lot more enjoyable, plus I save on parking and transport costs.
2. Seeing Places I Wouldn’t See Otherwise
I love seeing new places and outdoor running allows me to do this. The visions of some of the new places I’ve seen stay with me –a beautiful beachside trail, a lantern-lit street in China Town, a misty mountain ridge, a wet rainforest or, even something as simple as the houses around my suburb.
3. Clarity of Thought
Running is when I do some of my best thinking. It’s one of the activities where I can work through and leave behind all the emotional junk from the day. It’s similar to how it can feel dancing in your living room with no one watching. Running after a hard day at work can help me overcome stress.
4. The Joy of Participating
Participating in running events is so much fun and the people are great. The types of events I have participated in vary from short course runs, night runs, long courses and triathlon. I also participate in other endurance activities such as cycling across the Nullarbor and trekking in the Everest region. When I first entered these events many years ago I was relieved when I discovered how friendly and supportive everyone was. At first I was worried I might be not good enough or too slow, but after a few events I saw people of all ages and fitness levels were there to participate just like me.
I love the physical and mental challenge. Yes, while puffing, overheating and struggling up a huge hill I actually love it (though sometimes not until after). I had a conversation with some friends who also participate in endurance events and were discussing how modern life makes everyday tasks so physically easy. We agreed that perhaps there is something built into humans to seek out the challenge of physical hardship through sporting pursuits.
6. For Fitness
Running helps maintain my cardio fitness. I also do weight training, swimming, cycling and a lot of stretching to reduce the chance of injury. The improvement in my cardio fitness has in turn helped my dancing. I don’t get so tired performing multiple shows per night. Not long ago someone asked me what it feels like physically when you are doing a triathlon. The best way to describe it is to take what it feels like when you have finished your fastest, longest drum solo and multiplying that by fifty. Needless to say, I have no fear of long drum solos now.
Kaylah has been participating in endurance events and adventurous pursuits for the last 20 years. She is also a member of the Melbourne belly dance community and runs a dance business as a performer.