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How to Run for a Better Life

Alaa Jerbi

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Do you know what I do when I’m having a bad day? I run.

Do you know what I do when I’m bored? I run.

Do you know what I do when I’m tired? Again, I run.

Before you accuse me of being a sports junkie who spends his waking hours in the outdoors, let me confess to you that:

I’ve never loved running. In fact, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with any kind of exercise.

When I was in high school, I used to lose sleep over the thought of having a P.E class the next morning which would suck the air out of my lungs and leave me in pain for weeks.

The idea of moving my ass, besides going to the kitchen for a quick snack, made me want to puke.

So for the most part of my life, I believed that exercise wasn’t for me. I’ve never been good at sports anyway and I was okay with that.

I was also suffering from self-doubt, restlessness and constant overthinking. When you have these three issues in your life, you know mild depression is just around the corner.

I struggled to keep a good mood for a whole day. I’ve had all the reasons to be content, but I would always find a reason to make myself feel miserable. I literally was my own worst enemy.

Then one day, I was reading an article on how even a little exercise can have a tremendous effect on your life both physically and mentally. I got intrigued and wanted to test that claim for myself.

Last March, I developed a habit of taking long walks while drinking tea in the evening. It started after returning home from college every day and continued until this day (without the tea for insomnia reasons).

Shortly after that, I began to notice that I felt more peaceful and relaxed whenever I returned home from my daily walk.

And boy, I loved that feeling ❤️

Fast forward to May, my habit got stronger and stronger and I got hooked on that feeling of euphoria.

I wanted more of it. I became an endorphin addict!

In order to experience it in higher doses, I knew I needed to take my long slow walks to the next level. And that is how, you guessed it right, I discovered running.

How running changed me

 

 

I started running once every weekend. Then twice a week. Then three times a week. Sometimes I’d be running every day.

It’s become a part of my life. It offered me an escape from the world and its madness and it became a way to temporarily forget about it.

Surprisingly, running motivated me to experiment with other kinds of exercise. I started dancing (when nobody is watching) and jump rope. And not long after I started running regularly I began doing bodyweight training.

It also made me conscious of my food choice. Knowing that I ate some high-calorie junk food that would take me 45 min of intense running to burn it wasn’t pleasant.

I lost 7 kg in two months, gained muscle, and for the first time in my life, I could touch my abs.

But the real benefits weren’t physical. It was the effect of running on my mental health that has changed my life for the better.

When you’re 1 km away from your distance goal and your legs feel heavy and your mind begs you to stop but you continue, that’s some real guts. Running has taught me about perseverance.  

When you feel lazy and just want to lie down on the couch and call it a day, but you force yourself to get up, wear your running shoes, and hit the road, that’s self-control. Running has taught me about discipline.

When you break your last record by the seconds, you know that you’ve done something great. No matter how small it is, it is still a reason for you to celebrate. Running has taught me about the importance of small achievements.

Running has helped me improve my posture. I now stand taller and feel better. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel happy and confident. Ever felt like you’re invincible and on top of the world? That’s Serotonin doing its magic. And you get a rush of it when you stand tall and proud. Running helped me do just that.

Since I started running, I’ve never been more motivated to see my real potential than I am right now. I wake up everyday feeling ready to experience new things and grow out of my comfort zone.

Not only an increased motivation but running increased my zest for life. Remember when you were a little kid and you used to run around not caring about a thing? Magically, running helps you feel more like that little kid again.

Creativity sparked like never before. Every time I return home after a run, I feel inspired to create something. It may be a design, a piece of writing, or an improvised melody on guitar.

I can go on and on about how running changed my mental health for the better but I want to let you experience what I’m talking about for yourself.

How can you change your life with running?

 

 

Whether you want to lose weight, look sexier, have a better posture, teach yourself discipline, feel motivated every day, feel like a kid again, or you just want a way to escape the struggle of daily life and routine, running is worth trying out.

« But I’m no running junkie like you! I don’t enjoy sweating and moving my ass unless I’m obliged! », I hear you say.

Don’t worry, I used to say the same. Remember when I told you that I was a couch-potato and hated every minute of my P.E classes? I know how it feels like to move your ass when you don’t want to.

But I’ve got good news for you: You don’t have to suffer to run.

Running can be enjoyable and fun for everyone.

Yeah, you read that right. Everyone can run and everyone can have fun doing it while reaping its benefits.

Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we’re in groups and feel more motivated when we’re around others who share the same enthusiasm with us.

I remember when I first started, I couldn’t run more than 3.5 km on my own. But one day, I joined a running group near me and boy, I hit 8km without breaking a sweat!

When I learned that running can be fun when practiced with a group of enthusiastic people, I got an idea:

I’m co-founding a running club in INSAT and everyone is welcome to join us. Everyone.

Even if you’ve never run before (apart from chasing after missed buses, or dogs chasing after you), you can start your running journey.

Join our Facebook Group Here.

Further information will be published in the group soon. So stay tuned.

In the end, running releases more than just sweat. It releases your hidden potential and gifts to the world and the people around you.

As Dr. George Sheehan, author of « Going the distance », beautifully put it:

“Out on the roads, there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.”

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I think, dream, and read a lot. When I am not doing all those, I love to run, drink tea, sing, and jam on my old guitar. Follow me on: http://alaajerbi.me

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نسور قرطاج تحتل سماء الساحة الحمراء في المونديال

trikialaa

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–  » نسور قرطاج ؟ تقصد دجاج الحاكم اللي روّح بفضيحة كرويّة بعد ماتش بلجيكا ؟ « 

– لا لا … أصلا عمري لا تبّعت الكورة و حبّينا و إلا كرهنا ملّول كلّنا نعرفو اللي فرص ترشّحنا للدّور الثّاني ضئيلة كان مش معدومة.

–  » مالا علاه تكتب في أرتيكل ؟ أكهو تو الكلّها ولاّت تفتي في الكورة …. زايد الشعب التونسي ديما راكب على الحدث ! إعلام العا… « 

– بالشويّة صديقي .. شكون قال نحكي على الكورة من أصلو ؟ اليوم باش نحكيو على فخر بلادنا.. النّسور الحقيقيين ! نحكي على الجمهور التّونسي صانع الحدث، اللي حطّ شعوب العالم الكل باهتين في عقليتنا و جوّنا… اللّي نوّر وجوهنا قدّام مليون و نصف سائح أجنبي في روسيا، اللّي برهن انو المستحيل موش تونسي و أنّو واقف لبلادو لآخر دقيقة، اللّي قدّم درس في الأخلاق و في حبّ الوطن، اللّي…

–  » بربّي يزينا من اللغة الخشبيّة ! محسوب شربحنا منهم هالجمهور العظيم ؟ هوما مشاو لروسيا بلاد الحسناوات و شبعو بالتّحواس و التّفرهيد و احنا قعدنا هوني و مرضنا بالعصب في جرّة الأداء الكارثي للمنتخب. « 

– Not all heroes wear capes، أو بالأحرى الكورة موش كان في الساقين، موش هكا غنّينا 12 مليون تونسي ؟ ياخي عندك فكرة على تبعات التصويرة اللّي قدمناها على تونس في المونديال ؟ هيا سيدي نحكيو بشويّة أرقام :

بعد الهجمات متاع سوسة و باردو في 2015, عدد الليالي المقضاة في النّزل التونسية شهد إنخفاض كبير من 29 مليون ليلة سنة 2014 لمعدّل 17 مليون ليلة في 2017/2018, الشيء هذا يرجع بالأساس لتزعزع ثقة الأجانب في التّوانسة و تصويرهم كشعب رجعي و إرهابي ( خاصة انو تونس هي المصدّر الأول للإرهاب في العالم ).

النّظرة هاذي باش تتبدّل بطريقة أو بأخرى بعد الحملة الترويجيّة العفويّة اللي عملوها التّوانسة في روسيا، بالأعلام اللي رفرفت في سماء موسكو، بالشاشيّة اللي غزات أسواق فولغوغراد، بالنّشيد الرسمي و غنايات الفيراج كيف تلمّو أكثر من 15 ألف تونسي في السّاحة الحمراء ليلة 23 جوان.

نزيدك زيادة، وزارة السياحة و الصّناعات التقليديّة اغتنمت الفرصة و بعثت 24 شابّ و شابّة باش يحضرو المونديال و يقومو بالتّرويج لتونس بالتّنسيق مع وزارة الرياضة و الشباب، و كمّل قامت بتركيز 54 لوحة إشهارية في 7 مدن روسية. الجمعة اللي فاتت صرّح ممثل وزارة السياحة التونسيّة بموسكو بزيادة 50% في إستقطاب السيّاح الروس و 20% في السيّاح الأوروبييّن.

–  » إي صحيح في هاذي عندك الحق… أما خسارة خرجنا على بكري، السّاعة قريت اللي أغلب المشجعين العرب بما فيهم التّوانسة تنقّلو لمدينة سان بطرسبرج التاريخيّة باش يستغلّو الأيّمات اللي مازالتلهم في روسيا في السّياحة، الكلها سلّمت في جو المونديال بعد ضياع كل الأمل في الترشّح. « 

– أما هذا ما يمنعش أنو المشوار مازال متواصل بالنّسبة للبعض ! اليوم الجمهور برهن أنو أفضل سفير لتونس في المحافل الدوليّة: ثلّة مالشباب تدور بين المشجعين وتوزّع في مطويّات تحثّ على زيارة بلادنا بطريقة عفويّة، و البارح كيف كيف تونسي لابس مريول فيه تصاور من تونس ويدور بين الجماهير يحكيلهم على بلادنا ! خلاصة حديثنا أنّو التّونسي مهما يبدا متشائم من بلادو و يلوج على أقرب فرصة باش يخرج منها إلا أنو في قرارة نفسو مستعد يضحّي بالغالي و النّفيس على خاطرها، و كيما قال قتادة بن إدريس : بلادي وإن جارت علي عزيزة .. وأهلي وإن ضنوا علي كرام. نخلّيكم مع شويّة تصاور من مشاركة المشجعين التّوانسة في المونديال.

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