On Running

千里之行,始於足下 - 老子

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.  -Laozi

When I first moved to Boston during the winter of 2015 I began to regret my decision.  It was brutally cold, the snow banks were taller than me (I'm 5'8'') and my commute doubled in length.  

After my first week at work, I looked out my livingroom window at the tundra below me and saw something I didn't expect. Runners.  Along the path that circles the Charles River, runners were everywhere.  The flow of runners continued throughout the winter, into spring and summer.  Once the weather warmed up after a bit of cajoling from girlfriend I decided to give running a try.  

On my first run, I decided to set my expectations low so that I might succeed.  I guessed that the 1/4 mile to the grocery store should be within my ability. I guessed wrong.  Two days later I tried again.  While I got slightly further than my first attempt, I still couldn't complete the 1/4m without stopping.  On my third attempt I made it!  I was really happy. 

My two Japanese friends.

My two Japanese friends.

About nine months later, I found myself in Philadelphia on a Sunday.  I was standing at the starting line, in the rain, alongside a few of my colleagues with 30,000 other runners about to experience my first race.  A year earlier, if you had told me that I'd be running a 10 mile race, I would have been incredulous. A lot can change within a year. 

Over the course of running, I've learned a lot about myself.  Running gives you the opportunity to think abstractly as your runners high takes hold.  While I run, I explore podcasts from music, comedy to economics and think about what is troubling me.  My runs have a variety of psychological and physical benefits, improved my commute and foster my love for Boston.

Rather than walking in the cold to the train, I run to the train.  Running warms your body and if you dress appropriately you won't notice the cold.  You'll arrive at work faster and get home faster, reducing commute time.  When you do arrive at work less psychologically stressed you'll increase your productivity and when you arrive at home less psychologically stressed you'll have a more pleasant home life. 

The benefits to running are enormous and costs to running are low.  

The journey begins with a single step.