Sometimes a run to the beach through Golden Gate Park and back with a fellow sickie is just what the doctor ordered to get rid of the lung-sap that’s been residing in my throat. That’s not actually accurate, since I’m still nursing a mild post-nasal drip that wakes me up in the middle of the night a dry cough and a feeling in my tonsils that is reminiscent of grizzly bear fur.
However jogging with Mala and catching up on our lives, debating nothing of interest (to anyone but us) and everything of importance (to everyone including us), eavesdropping on other runners, reminded me that exercise isn’t always about the physical work involved. Heart-beat accelerated, muscles activated, adrenaline in motion and endorphins zipping. All this is important to be sure. But it’s not what fitness has to be 100% about.
Sometimes (and for some people, often or always), going on a run or taking a yoga class or putting on Paula Abdul’s dance video at home is about the camaraderie achieved when you do it with another person – friend or stranger alike. An emotional release of tension, a good conversation, or the act of sweating in a room with other humans who are also sweating are equally as necessary as the cardio benefits. In fact, maybe those emotions are part of the cardio benefits (yes, silly allusion to the heart joke totally intended).