The majority of the people we encounter in life are comprised of varying degrees of 'light' and 'dark'. All of us to one degree or another carry around demons that haunt us and derail us at times. Fear, anger, doubt, anxiety, and/or depression are but a few of these 'demons'.
Anger was the predominant demon that resided in my home growing up. But, the other demons lurked in dark corners as well. My adolescence (like just about everyone else's) was pretty torturous. Home didn't feel terribly safe and I rarely felt comfortable in my own skin around my peers. Aside from reading and escaping into films, there weren't too many other places where I could find solace and escape my demons.
Enter running. The few miles and minutes I spent on the road became an opportunity to 'exercise' my demons. It was the only time I felt comfortable in my own skin. It was the only time I felt like I was free from the turmoil and chaos that seemed to swirl at home constantly. It was the only time I felt true lucidity and some vague semblance of peace. It was the only time in which I felt I was truly me.
I know many who 'exercise' their demons via the act of running. There's something about creating metaphorical and literal 'distance' that always seems to make all of the aforementioned demons less threatening and dangerous. Running has helped me from becoming possessed on a myriad of occasions.
This is not say my demons have been (or ever will be) fully exorcised, but my ability to reign them in, keep them in check, and not let them possess me has been significantly enhanced by the act of running.
To one degree or another, we all have moments where we don't feel strong enough, don't feel capable enough, or doubt our ability to persevere. For me nothing has silenced these demons quite like going out and doing what requires strength, what requires courage, what requires faith, and manifesting what I can do. Running can be a potent 'exercism'.