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Running changes families and societies

Running helps you connect better with local people and its people who make places come alive. It’s easy to find yourself lost in your mind running a new trail or path in a new city and seeing the world from the locals’ perspective.

other sports Updated: Sep 15, 2018 13:55 IST
Craig Longobardi,Running,Running adventure tourism

Adventure tourism in the running community is an extremely great way to immerse yourself in other cultures. Your feet are on the ground either in the mountains or city streets. You witness local communities first hand, from ground level up. You’re off the beaten path of the regular tourist. You get to experience local customs, food, streets and trails.

You don’t have to be a huge runner either. You can start with walks in your local neighbourhood. Once you are comfortable, start challenging yourself. Drive or jump a flight to a new location. It can be a local park in your neighbourhood or a random place you always wanted to visit.

Tourism around the world has become lame. It’s more of the same throughout, chains like Starbucks, Hardrock, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut etc. are found everywhere. The adventure of experiencing different culture is simply missing.

Running helps you connect better with local people and its people who make places come alive. It’s easy to find yourself lost in your mind running a new trail or path in a new city and seeing the world from the locals’ perspective.

If you yet don’t run, start with a walk challenge for yourself and or the family. Start with small goals. If you want that cup of coffee from Starbucks, leave the car behind, lace up a pair of sneakers or jump on a bike. If the family wants to go out to dinner, choose an earlier time, then walk around a park or your local neighbourhood. Not only will it help with digestion, it’ll give you highly valued family time too.

I’m just here to provoke a thought, a random idea sparking a little motivation. Running has taken me all around the world from the streets of New York to the Tanzing-Hillary 60k Ultra marathon at Mount Everest base camp.

I myself started as all do, with one unsure step. I attended grammar school in the U.S. where our physical education programs required all students to run a mile (1.6 kms), in under 12 and 14 minutes for boys and girls, respectively. I failed gym because of my hatred for running. Running isn’t fun when you’re not fit. That’s why I’m trying to create a thought process that speaks of baby steps. Some people may just have a goal of running around a city block. Others might be motivated to run mountains or countries. It all starts with taking the first step.

Not only will you learn many things about yourself mentally and physically, your health will change for the better. You’ll also build relationships with in your communities. If you decide to travel for running or integrate it into your work travels. I promise you’ll experience many new things.

If your desire is to compete in a 5k, local marathon or who knows La Ultra – The High one of the highest ultra-marathons in the world. One of the best pieces of advice I can every give you is to go volunteer at events that are still a dream for you participate in. Someone once told me you’re a product of your environment. Sound yourself with likeminded people. You might just surprise yourself one day. When you toe that start line, remembering how your goals were just dreams (D - Dedication, R - Responsibility, E – Education, A – Attitude, M- Motivation).

Reading this is the first step you have taken. Now I challenge yourself to continue on your journey of life.

((The writer is a former flight mechanic and pilot, who used to perform helicopter search and rescue for the United States Coast Guard. ))

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 13:55 IST