Discovering my body’s switches: why I love running
My body is never so machine-like nor so precious as when I run. On leaving the house on a cold morning, in shorts and T-shirt, I’m like a freshly pupated moth emerging from my bed chrysalis. The outside world feels hostile; I’m uncomfortable and vulnerable. As I begin to run, my stiff limbs reluctantly do what they’re told, whilst the wind gets to work stripping any residual heat from the surface of my skin.
The first minute or so is a series of questions: do I really want to do this; which route should I take; have I gone off too quickly; when will I start to warm up? This is because my body is still in its rest setting. I believe my body has different modes that it switches between: run, rest, eat, focus, sex etc. The switches are slow and analogue, but being in a given state makes that activity easier and more natural. It took me years to appreciate this. After a couple more minutes
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