The Runners High.

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The runner’s high 1 describes a euphoric state resulting from long-distance running. According to David Linden, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The experience is usually attributed to a burst of endorphins released during exercise. “Exercise has a dramatic anti-depressive effect; it blunts the brain’s response to physical and emotional stress. By making running or jogging (or any aerobic exercise) a regular part of your routine, you stand to earn more than just physical gains over time. Voluntary exercise is the single best thing one can do to slow the cognitive decline that accompanies normal aging. 2

“A runner is a miser, spending the pennies of his energy with great stinginess, constantly wanting to know how much he has spent and how much longer he will be expected to pay. He wants to be broke at precisely the moment he no longer needs his coin.” –  John L. Parker Jr., Once a Runner


I have a daily running routine, which is one of my favorite things to do as I use the time to listen to a French podcast, and sometimes think about challenges I am trying to navigate, but above all, I am always looking forward to the adrenaline rush, the endorphin release and the gestures (smiles, hi-5s and camaraderie from fellow runners. Conquering the distance daily is a great feeling, and after finishing the run, I usually feel I have accomplished something great for the day; hence the runner’s high. Running consistently has taught me more lessons about life than my over three decades of schooling have done.


Running is one of my favorite things to do during the summer months. I run at least 10 miles daily and average 100 KM most weeks. Running is a form of therapy for me as I use the opportunity to meditate on ideas and issues I am trying to crack. I am constantly training for a marathon race. In 2022, I ran in six different cities (Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton), and in 2023, I am attempting to run across the ten Canadian provinces (Toronto, Ontario, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Halifax Nova Scotia, Calgary, Alberta, Winnipeg Manitoba). Long-distance running is not the easiest task, as it requires a lot of endurance, stamina, persistence, resilience and determination. I have run 20+ marathons in 14 different cities, and I can attest to the toughness of the marathon.


American billionaire and co-founder of the global sports equipment and apparel company Nike, Phil Knight, ran track and field at the Unversity of Oregon under the guidance of his mentor Coach Bill Bowerman and later co-founder of Nike. In his memoir, Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike 3, Phil Knight attests that running can be challenging. He writes:


“For that matter, few ideas are as crazy as my favourite thing, running. It’s hard. It’s painful. It’s risky.”

The rewards are few and far from guaranteed. When you run around an oval track, or down an empty road, you have no real destination. At least, none that can fully justify the effort. The act itself becomes the destination. It’s not just that there’s no finish line; it’s that you define the finish line. Whatever pleasures or gains you derive from the act of running, you must find them within. It’s all in how you frame it, how you sell it to yourself.”

“Every runner knows this. You run and run, mile after mile, and you never quite know why. You tell yourself that you’re running toward some goal, chasing some rush, but really you run because the alternative, stopping, scares you to death.”

The Euphoria of Pushing Your Limits

In A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey 4, Four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion and world record holder Chrissie Wellington OBE chronicles her rise in the triathlon world and the roller coaster of long-distance endurance running. She writes about the euphoria of pushing oneself to the limit.


What raises Ironman above other sports is the visceral nature of the contest against a fixed and unyielding foe: the contest against the race itself. You see humanity at its rawest, at its best and its worst. The Ironman brings that out in you. Finishing it is a victory. People vomit at the side of the road, they lose control of their basic functions, they collapse, they become delirious, desperate to reach the finish line, when sometimes that finish line is still miles away. It evokes such emotion and requires you to dig to the depths, physically and mentally. And then there is the euphoria and relief of making it to the end. Inspirational is the only word to describe it. You don’t get that from a game of cricket or football.

“In an ironman, even the world’s best face a challenge just to finish.”


Running as a form of Therapy

The Founder of Dyson, British inventor and industrial designer James Dyson, is a runner. Running is a form of escape that allows him to think that anything and everything is possible. In his inspiring autobiography, Invention: A Life 5, he commented:

The first thing I knew I was good at, and something that I had taught myself as a teenage schoolboy, was long-distance running. Once through the pain barrier, I found I had the determination, or sheer bloody mindedness, to keep on running. Running, early in the morning or late at night, through that hauntingly beautiful landscape proved to be more than a ritual challenge. It was an escape from school, allowing me to think that anything and everything was possible.

It was an escape from school, allowing me to think that anything and everything was possible.

Long-distance running allowed me the freedom to roam the wilds of Norfolk while depending on no one but myself. Running also taught me to overcome the pain barrier: when everyone else feels exhausted, that is the opportunity to accelerate, whatever the pain, and win the race. Stamina and determination along with creativity are needed in overcoming seemingly impossible difficulties in research and other challenges in life.

Running also taught me to overcome the pain barrier: when everyone else feels exhausted, that is the opportunity to accelerate, whatever the pain, and win the race.


  • Daily Clam with Tamara Levitt – Aging
  • Getting old isn’t easy, as we age our memory begins to fade, our body begins to slow down, and the world responds differently to us.
  • Through meditation, we learn experientially the principle of impermanence by observing the breath noticing how each inhale is forever turning into an exhale. While we can’t stop change, we can change how we relate to change. We can allow impermanence to be our teacher, observing our changing reality, and then rather than resisting the aging process; we become more able to embrace it through the sense of openness.

And I said to my body, softly, “I want to be your friend. It took a long breath and replied, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.~ Nayyirah Waheed

  • With less resistance, we are more able to flow from one year to the next, one stage of life to another, and by embracing each new face of life; we start to notice the wonderful things that come with getting older. The wisdom from a life well lived, the patience and the perspective gained through experience and adversity, and the delightful decline in caring what others think of us.
  • Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – The Value of Struggle
  • If you really want to thrive, you need some friction because that is how we humans are wired.
  • In Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, author and psychiatrist Dr. Anna Lembke observed that on a fundamental and biological level, many of us are unsatisfied. We live in a modern world of abundance and convenience which can actually be to our detriment at least neuro-chemically.
  • Our ancient ancestors lived in where tasks of literal survivor took up most of their bandwidth, when they got up in the morning, they weren’t deciding whether they wanted a mocha, a latte, or a mocha-latte. They were figuring out how to find food or to avoid getting mauled by a bear.
  • We should all be stretching for something that is currently beyond our grasp, whether it is that promotion at work or shaving a minute of our mile time,
  • Life is a journey and not a destination. We don’t become who we are by reaching our destination. It is the chase that shapes us,

There can be value in struggle but that does not mean every struggle has value.


  • How To Reinvent Your Life In 4 Months (My Full Step-By-Step Process) | Cal Newport

Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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