Monday, July 21, 2014

I run because the beast gets hungry....

Leading by example is not necessarily my forte. I force my runners to warm up properly, but rarely do I actually do this myself.

I instruct my pupils to seek out a quality sports massage every 2-4 weeks. I tell them to think of it like an oil change or tune up for the car. It's necessary in order to continue performing at an optimal level. However, I can't recall the last time I went in for a little tune up myself.

I craft a thoughtful schedule designed to keep my runners in excellent running shape while minimizing the chances of injuries and aggravations. There's a nice balance of running, crosstraining, and rest. I generally discourage my runners from running every single day. Yet, this is exactly what I do.

I encourage a diet that includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables, lean forms of protein, good fats, and try to avoid stuff that is processed/packaged. Once again, I wouldn't necessarily claim to toe this same line myself.

'Generally' my diet is pretty sound, but sometimes the beast gets hungry. I discovered the beast when I first got into running in high school. After a tough race or a long run, the beast would growl, scratch, and demand to be fed.

The beast would not be satiated with quinoa, fruit, and lean protein. The beast craved cheeseburgers, fries, pizza, milkshakes, candy, and other calorie bombs. The beast's hunger sometimes felt insatiable.

When I was young, the beast was in control. I indulged its every whim. Remarkably, I never gained much weight. Youth, running daily, and a freakish metabolism likely kept me from becoming a husky beast myself.

The beast has been known to consume an entire large pizza in one sitting. Following the completion of a 50 mile journey, the beast inhaled a 1/2 pound cheeseburger with bacon and bbq sauce. This was complemented by a an order of large fries the beast promptly devoured as well.

I generally like to think of myself as a civilized, evolved, full fledged homo sapien, but the beast reminds me that it wasn't long ago that I was a knuckle dragger living in a cave. There was no such thing as 'running'. Running back then was a hunt that could last innumerable miles and more than a few days.

A hunt of this length undoubtedly catalyzed a powerful (and beastly) hunger. Every meal was a feast of epic proportions as countless calories had been burned in the quest for this meal.

When I run I honor the slightly less evolved version of myself that once did this not for fun, but for survival. While it's been a few years since I lived in a cave, I run like a beast sometimes and the beast gets hungry.

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