A friend (SC) who has begun to experiment with jogging writes that s/he finds it quite dull. This strikes me as fascinating --- since I never seem to experience tedium while running. Pondering why, I came up with a few hypotheses:

  1. my life is so stressful that any change is relaxing and welcome
  2. my life is so monotonous that any change is exciting and welcome
  3. pains and aches associated with exertion (at times, anyway) occupy my brain
  4. the paths along which I ramble are unusually interesting, or at least distracting
  5. exhaustion leaves me no mental energy for boredom (or other conscious thought)
  6. there's some extraordinary state of zen-like enlightenment which I enter after half an hour of pavement-pounding

I suspect that hypothesis 5 explains most of the effect, with some of 4 and maybe a dash of 1 or 2 thrown in as spice. Number 6 seems quite improbable.

During recent runs I've kept an eye out for ennui, and have yet to spot any. Perhaps my expectations are simply low, so when I see a squirrel or step on a leaf it's enough to satisfy me. Likely I need more non-intellectual time to counterbalance an excess of neural stimulation elsewhere. For sure I've been incredibly lucky during the past couple of years not to get badly injured.

And above all, it's obvious that different people resonate with different pursuits, mental and physical. Running, at the moment, works for me; I'd best enjoy it while I can.

TopicRunning - TopicMind - TopicHumor - 2003-12-11

(correlates: SoulNumbingTedium, VarietiesOfNotCaring, SouthernCross, ...)