Posted by: Steven Hammer | March 6, 2010

The great escape

I often wonder about the appeal running holds for people like me (our opinions vary greatly, I imagine). I personally think it to be a combination of many things: satisfaction of my competitive spirit, the physical ‘high’ of running, formed relationships, maintenance of sanity, and escape… We talk about running as an escape. Escape from what?

I’m not saying (or admitting, rather) that I use running as a way to defer responsibilities, difficulties, and parts of life we refer to as “necessary evils,” at least I’m not promoting it as the only vehicle towards mental health. It does, however, seem to act on my psyche as I imagine rituals and rites to affect one’s soul. Many people refer to running as their religion, sanctuary, meditation, connection with their higher power, and it’s no wonder why, especially in a world that sometimes seems antithetical to the act and process of running. This has been my thought lately. I think I love running because it embodies so many of the characteristics that I sometimes find missing in larger society: process-oriented, inclusive, and consistent.

Don’t get me wrong. Life is good. But when it gets frustrating, running is better.



  1. This is a great post, Hammer. I think you are touching on something that people often have difficulty expressing–but you nailed it. I especially agree with running providing a space that is “process-oriented, inclusive, and consistent”–good description.

    Not to be a total creeper, but I have subscribed to your blog. Good luck with the marathon/ultra marathon!

    • Thanks, Katie! I appreciate your feedback and ability to relate:)

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