I had already talked about it in thelatest episode of Il Lungo (our two-week podcast) but, given the amount of comments and messages I received, I think it’s a topic that needs to be addressed here in the “pages” of Runlovers as well.
I am not a person who likes to share my personal facts on the Internet. I practically never do that and – as far as I’m concerned – I don’t think others should either. Social media has somewhat distorted this aspect of reality, empowering and pushing anyone to write about themselves, even in the most private details of life. I think it is a kind of evolution of gossip, of voyeurism, in some ways; otherwise I would not explain the attachment (bordering on the morbid) to everything private and personal. Everything is now becoming entertainment at the expense of content, but that’s a digression: that’s not what I want to talk about.
Only in one case do I find it right and even proper to share our lives with others: when it takes on a collective value and becomes useful. In this way we create a sharing network, a huge brain that thinks and evolves concepts, reflections and situations. In simple words: if my personal experience can be useful to someone, it becomes almost a duty to share it.
And, in this case, it becomes incumbent upon me to share my personal facts because, for some time, I have been suffering from anxiety attacks.
The symptoms are simple and easily recognized: heart rate increases, sweating begins, and the brain enters a loop state that prevents it from stopping. It happens at the most unexpected times, it just happens, and it is absolutely uncontrollable. It’s also frustrating, in some ways, because you know what’s happening to yourself but you can’t control it. At most you can rationalize it, a little at a time.
I am lucky, let’s be clear: my anxiety attacks are mild, I can be aware of them and, quite often, manage them with “square breathing” (4″ inhale, 4″ apnea, 4″ exhale, 4″ apnea; and then you start again), sitting in a comfortable position and with my hands on my diaphragm to feel the breathing.
My medicine is running
However, what is helping me most of all, what is my medicine, is running. For more than a month now, I have been running every day. With light workout loads, of course. And sometimes even twice a day. In short, a medicine that I take “as needed.” And if I can’t run, I walk.
What matters most of all is moving, being outdoors, running.
I can say that my medicine, instead of having the active ingredient in milligrams, has it in kilometers. And the more I need it, the more I increase the “dosage.”
After a long time, running has thus changed from a meditative moment to a therapeutic tool.
Running, as always, is a perfect metaphor for life: it goes through its stages. There is the time when you run to lose weight, the marathon, the trail running, the triathlon, and there is the time when running is a medicine to get better, to live better.
And there is also the time when the race is a big party, as happens every year during the Deejay Ten in Milan. It would be nice, again this year, to hold one of our beautiful meetings in Milan at the Deejay Ten.
Running and life are always intertwined like an embrace.
Therefore, in the podcast episode, I asked about other stories of sharing, stories of “personal facts,” other stories in which running was a help in times of difficulty, other stories in which running was a medicine in Km instead of mg.
If you want to send yours, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I think it is important to highlight how too frequently running is perceived as a “superficial” activity that is done just to stay fit, “fitted.” On the other side – and I am realizing this on myself – the most important benefit running can give us is on a mental and emotional level. And this aspect is too often overlooked.
As a kid, when I felt sad, bored, “unbalanced,” my grandmother would tell me, “put on your shoes and go for a run – you’ll see it will pass!”
A few years later I can say: thank you, Grandma.
The Deejay Ten is our heart race, the moment when we met and combined all our reasons for running. New Balance has made a version of its Fresh Foam X 880 v12 ( women’s version here) specifically for this race-a shoe that contains all the enthusiasm and positive vibes that the Deejay Ten contains.