“I’m going on an adventure!” said Bilbo in The Hobbit. An adventure that is long, challenging and life changing for Bilbo. We’ve all seen characters, like Bilbo, in movies going on adventures and having some unbelievable experiences.
Adventures awaken our soul, make us feel alive, thrill us, and cause huge excitement. A huge sense of adventure can be achieved through running, a powerful reason running is a life-changing sport.
What is an adventure?
According to the Oxford English dictionary, adventure is an “unusual and exciting, or daring experience.” An appropriate definition, for a fine word.
Humans have been voluntarily running for thousands of years
Though humans have been on the plane for over 4 and a half million years, they haven’t always run through choice. Often, humans would run to hunt prey or worse. Escape a predator like a lion, a tiger, or a bear. Oh, my!
Humans have been reportedly running for sport and leisure since at least 776 BCE, during Ancient Greece. They weren’t forced to run for food or survival, they chose to run from this point onward. Surely, there must be a reason for choosing to do so.
Why exactly have humans voluntarily decided to run, for years and years? Getting a sense of adventure may just be the reason.
Why bother seeking adventure?
“Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.” Jaime Lyn
No matter who you are, what you do, or what stage you’re at in life, we could all do with some exciting, unusual and daring experiences from time to time.
Adventure means going into the unknown, out of your comfort zone. Adventurous experiences are exciting, engaging, and usually change your perspective on life forever. Think of a time you’ve been adventurous in your life.
Holidays are a great example of adventure
A holiday abroad is a perfect example of an adventure. Finding excitement in discovering a new place, not knowing what you’ll find or what obstacles you may encounter, or what incredible experiences you’ll have on the way.
Running is a fantastic outlet to awaken your inner adventurer and have exhilarating experiences on a regular basis.
Sounds too good to be true. How exactly does running awaken your inner adventurer then?
You discover your limits
Nothing makes you feel more alive than when you’re right on the edge of your physical abilities. Then when you’re testing how far you can go, finding out what it is you can do. Running will present the opportunity to discover your limits.
Rocky tested his limits in round 14
Ever seen around 14 in Rocky, where Apollo Creed knocks Rocky down then triumphantly marches around the ring with his hands victoriously in the air?
Apollo is horrified as Rocky, bloodied and beaten beyond measure, pulls himself to his feet and puts his arms up once more. Rocky was truly testing his limits, and the adventure in Rocky was alive more than ever in this scene.
I’m not saying you need to do something as extreme but pushing yourself occasionally is good for you. If you’re in a bit of pain, out of breath, and not in the zone, don’t slow down or – worse – start walking. Push yourself to keep going, even harder.
Pushing yourself through pain is one of the most adventurous ways to see what you’re truly capable of. To find out how far you can go, what you can do.
When you feel like you’ve been knocked down in round 14, get back up and into the fight. Push through the pain and be adventurous. Discover your limits with running.
Editor’s note: Obviously don’t put yourself at risk; if you’re in ridiculous, excruciating pain then I’d recommend stopping and taking it easy. If the pain persists, get some professional medical advice!
You explore your local area
You probably know the area you live in very well and have become familiar with the local town and maybe even been to some natural locations. However, most people aren’t total geographical experts in their local surroundings.
There’s probably an area of woodland, a neighbourhood or a river route you’ve never ventured down. Some runners find it difficult to plan their route, with most quickly getting bored with their go-to training route. What a perfect opportunity for some exploration!
Exploring the local area means you’re running fully engaged and not in autopilot
Be an adventurous runner and explore your local area. Go to places you’ve never been before. It won’t be like your typical run where you go through the motions, into a bland autopilot. You’ll be forced to be fully immersed and engaged in the experience.
After all, if you don’t pay attention to your surroundings how will you get back?
Exploring your local area on your runs is a great way to be adventurous. Give it a try today.
There’s a degree of uncertainty
Not knowing what the future holds is enough to make the average Joe or Josephine squirm. Uncertainty can mean feelings of anxiety, not knowing what lies ahead or how to plan properly.
Being a runner means huge uncertainty at times. You never know if you’ll beat your personal best, if you feel comfortable if you’re ready for a race, or what the weather will be like. It’s part of the fun! Some runners, though, do feel anxious when they’re uncertain.
However, uncertainty is the heart and soul of adventure. Think of any great film you’ve seen in your life. Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, Schindler’s List, La La Land, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Shining. I bet you were literally biting your fingernails trying to guess what was going to happen next. The unknown element of the situation was exciting, admit it.
Running on a regular basis means you will be uncertain. You won’t always know how you’ll feel, how quick you’ll be, or if you’re 100% ready for a race. That’s part of the learning experience and the exhilarating feeling of adventure for you!
Being uncertain is a huge reason running awakens your inner adventurer.
Travelling to new places
If you’re a runner, chances are you will compete in some events and get to travel to new places.
It doesn’t matter if these places are on a different continent, another country, or 30 minutes down the road. Getting out of your comfort zone, running in new places, is a perfect adventure.
Running in new places gives you incredible stories to tell
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Feeling speechless at a beautiful, brand new sight is a mesmerising sensation you won’t forget in a hurry.
Having interesting and unique stories to tell is important, and especially valuable.
Ever been asked by someone “so, do you have any hobbies?” and all you can come up with is “watching films” and “meeting friends”? There’s nothing wrong with these activities, but regularly participating in running events like half marathons or 10ks in distant places, sounds particularly impressive.
Running marathons, half marathons, 10Ks, or fun run events, is especially memorable when you do them in fresh locations new to your eyes.
Try the Vegas Rock ‘N’ Roll Half marathon, see the gorgeous French sights in the Paris marathon, or even take part in a muddy fun run in your own country. Wherever new locations running takes you, you will be creating unforgettable memories for life.
You feel alive
Adventure comes from feeling alive. Running is a perfect way to feel alive. Blood pumping round your body, out in the open, exploring the world, and breathing heavily. When you run, you’re in the present moment and fully engaged in it. You are there, you are alive.
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
Your time on this earth is limited
The worries of everyday life, such as bills and what we’re going to have for dinner, often make us forget this start realisation our time is limited. We’re so wrapped up in our concerns, we forget to live. We forget to have some adventure!
It’s the brutal, unavoidable reality. We will all die at some point. One of the most important things is that you do things which make you feel like you lived, enjoyed yourself, and experienced some adventure.
Running is a great way to experience the adventure and feel the thrill of being alive and present in the current moment. Awaken your inner adventurer and feel alive, by running.