It is 5:00 in the morning and my alarm clock reminds me that my most important daily ritual is just an hour away. I get out of bed knowing that hitting the snooze button on the clock is not an option. Down the street there is another person also waking up to keep our plans to hit the pavement running as the sun comes up and the birds start to sing.
What started out as morning walks has progressed to far more than a ten-minute mile. It has become friendship, laugher, endurance, an educational forum and a time to share whatever thoughts might come to mind. It has become what we now refer to as "run therapy".
Winter, spring, summer, fall, rain, shine, or even snow, the ritual for us AM warriors happens regardless of the conditions outside.
Sporting flashlights in hand and goofy hats intact, our spirits are lifted just keeping the commitment to one another and to our individual goals. It is one time during the day that we can count on being completely in the moment with nothing else to do but the task at hand. Our conversations each morning seem to move with the rhythm of our bodies as we do our best physically to stay healthy and fit. Run therapy is holistic self care at its finest.
We run before most people have even had their morning coffee. Each day we explore topics ranging from extending the shelf life of produce to achieving world peace. Often it seems that we have finished our route in no time leaving our topic of conversation to be finished the next day.
Regardless of how fast or slowly we might finish our exercise; we always end our ritual the same way. Every day we both agree that we probably would have hit the snooze button, allowing ourselves time to find an excuse to stay in bed if it were not for our plans to meet one another.
Run therapy has proven to be most valuable in achieving optimal health. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anybody who needs help fitting exercise into his or her daily routine. Not only does run therapy get you outside with nature every day, it allows you the opportunity to be in the moment while developing a special friendship and it does the body good!
If running isn't something that motivates you, the run therapy approach to holistic self care can be applied to a variety of physical activities. Walking, hiking, water aerobics, extreme snowboarding are just a few examples of the vast array of alternatives that are available. I can certainly testify to the positive results of finding a person who shares your interest in some type of physical activity and running with it.
Copyright © 2007 Shirley Warren
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