The Way of Running delves into a world unknown to most runners: we have much more strength than we think. Most of us believe we have reached our limits when we are no more than 70% exhausted. We rarely make full use of our strength due to chronic tension, anxious thoughts, and unskilled movement.
One slight problem with today’s so-called “mindfulness movement” is due to vague, lofty claims and generalizations about what it is and what it can do, especially in the area of human performance. Thankfully, I now see how my enthusiasm for the topic can work against me: even though I have a meditation background (or perhaps because of it?), I can feel the powerful allure of such claims.
Understanding the physiological effects of positive emotions such as caring, compassion or appreciation for someone or something can actually go a long way in helping people reduce their risky training behaviors.
Running and sport involvement is one of many innovative treatments that stimulate the brain’s natural neuro-plasticity. And it’s largely through heightened body awareness that past traumas can be renegotiated and revisited rather than relived repeatedly.
There have always been inspirational runners who defy conventional beliefs regarding aging and human performance. The truth of the matter is that the biopsychology of aging remains largely a mystery.