When people ask me why I run, I directly relate it to when they ask why I write. For me and others, there is a definite link between writing and running.
“What Writing and Running Have in Common” by Rachel Toor touches on the connection between the two activities.
“When I think harder about it, what I believe running and writing have most in common, at least for me, is the state of vulnerability they leave you in,” Toor said. “Both require bravery, audacity, a belief in one’s own abilities and willingness to live the clichés: to put it on the line, to dig deep, to go for it. You have to believe in the “it,” and have to believe, too, that you are worthy.”
I agree with Toor that writing and running both leave you in a state of vulnerability, but it’s essential to have bravery and belief in your own abilities.
From experience, as both a runner and writer, I’ve seen this link manifest in my own life. Both require an amount of endurance. Training and pushing yourself enough to run a 100 meter dash is like a short story, requiring a small burst of quick energy. Pacing for a 100 miler is similar to writing a novel. For each level of running or writing, you need to gradually build up endurance for it.
Did you know that runner’s high has a sibling known as writer’s high?
“Run Writer Run: Why Exercise Will Improve Your Writing” by Birgitte Rasine said, “It’s that state of pure ecstasy you reach when you hit your stride when your muscles no longer ache, and you feel like you could run forever.”
I have experienced both runner’s and writer’s high. My first runner’s high was when I was eight years old. Just before my 200 meter sprint, there was a group of high school aged guys standing alongside the fence betting aloud about who was going to win. I heard them saying “lane two is too skinny and won’t win.” I went to the starting line in lane two and got into the starting position. The starting gun went off and everyone sprung from their position. Suddenly, I had wings on my feet and flew to the finish, taking first place. I experienced a similar feeling of believing in myself when I ran a 10k (6.2miles) and went on to the Spring Track Nationals with my personal best.
In writing, I experienced a writer’s high during my freshman year of college. I was in a creative writing class, where we were instructed to write a non-fiction piece. As I sat at my computer with a cup of hot tea, the words just poured out onto the screen with each strike to the keys on the keyboard.
Sometimes when we are challenged in a way that we have not been before, we find the personal strength and courage to do our best and may even surprise ourselves. Running and writing take a similar mind set to be successful.
For questions/comments about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitOnline.