Re-Energising on the run, life as an introvert

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I’m an introvert.

I used to think introversion was a negative trait. Meaning that I was shy, socially awkward, and uncomfortable when in a crowd of people.

I used to think that being an introvert was something to be ashamed of and that I should try to be more extroverted so that I could develop myself and my career.

Then I read a few books on introversion, and realised that I had it all wrong.

“Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not.”

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

I realised that it’s not that I’m shy or socially awkward. As a matter of fact I can be confident, chatty, and engaging in a group.

If I’ve had a day with lots of social or professional interactions. Then I need to spend time alone to refuel, recharge my batteries, and generally top-up my energy levels.

Comic strip showing an introvert leave a bustling party to spend time in solitude
Spending time with others can be exhausting, being outdoors can help me to recharge

For me there’s a few things that help me to achieve this like reading a book, writing a blog, meditation, or exercise.

This is were running comes in.

As an introvert, running alone helps to recharge my batteries

No matter what time of day it is, if I go for a run I come back feeling energised. The time spent pounding the pavement or exploring the trails helps me to switch off, I put my physical energy in to my running focusing on times, routes, pace, etc. Whilst at the same time allowing my thoughts and problems to retreat to a place they’re not needed at that time.

By the end of a run I’m physically tired, but I’m mentally recharged!

Getting ready to complete my first marathon, running alone
At the start of the Northern Jumble, my first marathon. Choosing to run it alone.

So, don’t take it personally if I haven’t ran with you or a group for a while, or if during a group run I spend a portion of it running by myself. The likelihood is that I’m running alone so I can recharge my batteries.

Thanks for reading, Keith.

MyNeedToLive Guest Blogger

Name: KeithRuns

Website: keithruns.com

Bio: About to turn thirty I decided to change my lifestyle. I stopped smoking, cut back on alcohol, and started exercising. A few years later and 40lbs lighter, I installed a couch-to-5k app on my phone and headed out for my first attempt at running. It took me several months before I finally managed to run 5k though, slow and steady progress was what helped me to get there.

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