“Amma why do you have to run?” or sometimes it is  the “Amma why do you have to trek?” question that I  hear from my still sleepy toddler who doesn’t want to let go of me and just wants to cuddle up!

The few moments just before a run or a trek is the worst time to explain to anyone or yourself the reason behind doing it. So if my baby wants to, I take him along and after a few of these outings he doesn’t ask me these questions so much anymore. He just gets it and I too get the answers because of him.

I learn from him the joy of running. He never seems to want to walk when he can run! He runs around in pointless circles when he is happy. I who have forgotten it in the years that passed from childhood to adulthood seem the only one who needs to re-learn.

“Nothing else exists, only the climb.” – This one-liner by Austrian mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner  sums it up for me. You could even morph it to “Nothing else exists, only the run.”!

There is nothing like pushing your physical boundaries to make your brain and body vibrate in the same frequency…to keep you focused on the present. Every time my brain tells me to give up, to let go, there is a stronger voice that tells me ‘You can, so keep going’.

Trekking or running has a way of making every thought that wants to pull you down seem mundane and stupid. For example,

Me: “Am I not good enough for his Awesomeness that he treats me this way?”

Mountain/trail: “M’lady would you just effing get on with what you are doing? If you stop you are going to collapse in the middle of nowhere!”

Me: “Aaah why do I do this to myself? I should just give up and hit the road in a AC car.”

Mountain/trail: “Move Dufus move. Else you are sure to hit the road, literally and figuratively!”

and so on…you get the gist..eh?

I wouldn’t win an award for the ‘fittest /most athletic person in my street’ award even. I am not an expert runner or a trekker. But I don’t give up. I better myself every single time and feel a sense of exhilaration, a sense of achievement.

Running releases a neurotransmitter called Serotonin which is responsible for mood regulation – ever heard of a ‘Runner’s high’?? This is what makes it addictive and also good for you!

But analysing it and attributing the exhilaration that we feel to a few chemicals zip-zapping in our brains , somehow diminishes it.

After a long run or after reaching the summit, everything seems right with my world. There is peace. This feeling is strong enough to make me go back again and again and again….

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Now, that is why I do what I do.