Have you ever wondered why joggers, as they plod forth in grim determination, never smile? It’s something that mystified me occasionally, as I enjoy my walk along a country path with my dog. And then I finally figured it out. Well, at least I think I did.
Not far from where I live, there is a disused old railway line. It’s an overgrown lane now and a rather pretty place to walk – far from traffic noise, with hedges and shrubs on either side, bursting with birdsong and the innocent beauty of country life. Admittedly, at times it’s a bit of a dog walkers’ highway and then there are the joggers racing along.
I’m aware that not everyone is keen on an overfriendly four legged fur ball bounding toward them, so when dog free people cross our path, I call Cookie and keep her at heal until they have passed, normally with a friendly hello and thanks. Not so with most runners.
Whereas other walkers smile, exchange a greeting and maybe even a few words, those people who run tend to hold their heads straight and their lips too. Rarely a word or even a nod, to loosen the concentrated gaze toward an invisible, maybe unattainable goal.
For a while I thought that maybe they’re so far up on their jogger’s high, that they don’t see us down below. But that wouldn’t make sense. would it? If you’re somewhere close to bliss, then surely you would exude that from every part of your being. It would be joy and joy is contagious, it’s fun and brings a smile and a bounce.
So, why do joggers never smile? And what’s the secret of those who do? My theory is that the reason many people run isn’t one that really motivates, inspires and energises them. They aren’t running ‘in the moment’, but hastening toward more fitness, less weight and social acceptance as a trend follower. They are literally chasing after an external goal that is frustratingly far away in the future. But then, occasionally, there is a very different kind of runner.
The person who may be just as pooped, but has a glow on their face that’s not just sweat. They are the ones who are moving with their body, mind and soul right here in the present moment. Feeling the movement with each step they take, breathing in fresh, crisp air and experiencing pure delight at being able to do so. These are the runners who seem to glide past elegantly, leaving you feeling just that little bit better about your day as they send a little smile and a nod your way.
I’m certain that these are also the joggers who run for the mere sake of being alive, of enjoying their body and being in nature. There's a spiritual side to their running - a kind of moving meditation. The fact that they will become healthier and fitter as a result is a welcome side effect and their joy is in the present moment.
And maybe, watching the grim and the happy runners and figuring out what made the difference was partly responsible for the development of BodyBliss™. BodyBliss is an holistic training system we offer to create health, wellbeing and balance between body, mind and spirit – in a word, bliss. That’s my contribution to enjoying exercise with an inner smile.
Annett helps people achieve ultimate wellness and health with the BodyBliss(TM) system. She teaches Emotional Freedom Techniques in her EFT seminars and shares her thoughts, inspiration and advice at Stress2Bliss.com