One of the biggest revelations during my recovery period from injury last year was that I had become obsessed with running. It was bordering an unhealthy obsession. The very thing that had given me my self worth was now controlling it. I started feeling worthless when I didn’t or couldn’t run. And that wasn’t right as “I’m a runner” didn’t define me wholly. That’s why, when I joined CrossFit to strength train, I already knew where to draw the line. To keep it 3 times a week, an hour each was my goal and I have stuck to it happily. It’s a method I have chosen now to stay fit and running will forever be for the soul.
When I look back and look around, I realise that there is a fine line between passion and an unhealthy obsession. And when I say an unhealthy obsession, it’s nothing to do with the distances one wants to train for. I have met enough and more passionate runners training for 160km and yet take life as it comes. While I have written a lot of fun articles on running and some on how running transforms you as a person (read here), this one might come across as a little harsh.
Here are some signs I really think one must watch out for and it’s not limited to running, biking or CrossFit –
1) Getting irritated if you miss a run or workout because one of the family member is sick. It might seem extreme but I have known someone who was going crazy because she missed her gym for 5 days as her child was sick.
2) When rather than being at peace, you feel life has come to a halt when, for some reason, you are unable to run longer duration.
3) You push yourself to train despite being constantly fatigued or severely injured. “No pain, no gain” isn’t always true. I did that because that’s the only thing I knew and then paid a price for it. Wearing knee pads and continuing to run rather than taking a break to fix that knee, can be really harmful in the long run.
4) When it feels more like a chore. Yes there are some bad runs/workouts and good runs/workouts but most of the time a workout or run should leave you feeling good. That’s a definitive one, if you don’t feel good after a run, give it a break.
5) Trying to squeeze in mileage by compromising on sleep. Sleeping 6-7 hours is really important. Training/workouts need to be balanced and missing one day here and there isn’t going to kill you.
6) When you are tempted to deactivate or actually deactivate social media channels as you feel miserable about missing out.
These are just somethings which came to my mind and I know list is long. But let’s not forget that
Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind
The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
– Baz Lurmann – Everybody’s free (to wear sunscreen)