Sunday, May 16, 2010

Off the beaten track

Apart from the obvious physical and mental health benefits of running, or any type of exercise for that matter, there are many, many other ways that it can improve your life.

Last year I travelled to Brussels for work, a week of hotel living, back to back meetings and evening dinners with barely an hour or so between the end of the day and the start of the evening social activities.

Instead of laying on my bed or staring at the TV, I ran.  The hotel gave me a tourist map and a bemused look and I headed out.

There was the major benefit that the weather was great and the sun shone late and bright, but it gave me the opportunity to see, albeit briefly, parts of the city that would encourage me to at least plan to head back one day.

I ran through the city, past the parliament buildings, past the seats of power, through the valleys of buildings, along the impeccably clean streets, through parks and to historic landmarks.

I briefly sat in the sun under the trees that were beginning to turn to autumn; I breathed the air that wasn’t air conditioned and I relaxed.

This past weekend I was in Cardiff, a girlie weekend with shopping and eating.  And running.  I found the castle and the park and the trees and the time, again, to breathe.