I was a great sprinter when I was a kid.
I loved it and could run for hours and never get tired.
Then, after years of playing competitive sports I was done with running and would do absolutely anything I could to avoid it.
I loved it so much as a kid. Was I burnt out? Lazy? To old?
I still don’t know why.
When I wanted to get sober in 2006, I made some big life changes… I hit the gym and ate well which made no sense at the time because I was still doing the drugs and alcohol.
Looking back, the gym and the healthy eating was probably how I justified my drug and alcohol abuse at the time.
Then I got sober and something started to happen. I was craving the dopamine fix that I was no longer getting from drugs and alcohol.
Frustrated with how I was feeling, I went for a walk and as my anger started to build, I started walking faster and faster down my street and then suddenly I was running through traffic in Brooklyn, NYC.
Something magical happened…the runners’ high hit me.
Better than any drugs I had ever taken, I was in the zone and hooked.
For a solid 7 years I ran every-day and it was amazing until my colitis forced me to stop.
Then, just the other day I felt the need to challenge myself again and see if that high was real or just in my imagination.
So, I went out for a three-mile run.
Man, it hurt. I haven’t run in years. The first 10 minutes were hell but I kept pushing through the pain, then everything seemed to calm down.
I didn’t feel like I was out of breath, my body started to relax and that feeling of ecstasy was back… boom the runner’s high had kicked in.
Oh wow, I had missed that shot of Dopamine and like any true addict I wanted that fix again and again and so now I am back to running to satisfy the Dopamine cravings.
One week in, the pain is worth it and it’s time to enter a race.
I have chosen a half marathon pushing my son in the stroller knowing that will motivate me to keep going.
I get out there every-day and for the first 10 minutes my mind tells me to give up but once I get the first 10 minutes out of the way… it’s go time.
Once it starts to burn, I know I am finding out where I’m at for the day and life isn’t as bad as it might seem.
It’s easy to stay in our comfort zones and play it safe.
Push yourself and you will soon know who you really are.