Blog / Thoughts

The need for speed

I lay around feeling ridiculously tired – more tired than I have been in years – but it’s the good kind of tired. It’s the self-imposed, tiring-yet-energetic, and healthy kind of tired. It’s what some people might describe as a high, or even an addiction.

The word addiction certainly gives a negative connotation to anything. There are definitely instances when being addicted to physical activity (or, as we’ll call it, ‘exercise’) can be terribly unhealthy. Yet, for those of us who don’t need it to live but seek it out for a certain feeling, that dangerous line doesn’t get crossed. Instead, we find ourselves actively thinking of what to try next, what to do when the day gets here, and how to maybe schedule other things according to when we feel up for what keeps us going.

I’ve been slightly obsessed with a few things before, but there are some things that I have always been engulfed by. Being a fitness and sports fiend is one of those things that has been with me since I could really remember anything. I almost felt trained to love it, but there’s always been something in me that has pushed me the extra mile.

Life now is very different from when I was younger and actively involved in the competitive side of athletics. Now, I make a “work out” an obligatory part of my life every other day, but my competitive side hasn’t died down even a tiny bit. I mostly get it done in and around home now, but even now, there’s always a goal in mind: a goal to finish better than before. When I was younger, however, the intensity was multiplied. From making the school teams, before I was officially allowed to, to never letting myself finish below 1st place in a race, I identified as an athlete.

I remember playing football (or soccer for those of you who call it that) for 90 minutes straight without ever feeling tired, despite playing an odd combination of left winger/forward – one of the positions that required constant running. I remember sprinting up and down courts in basketball as the point guard of my team, always on the lookout, and again, never feeling tired. I also remember swim meets where I relied on my backstroke to finish first – again, no feelings of tiredness.

Sometimes I’m not sure whether my competitiveness pit me against others or against myself; that part was always a blur. There was always one thing I knew for sure: my life without this output would have been more difficult to manage.

Every now and then, I get asked, “do you really like working out?”. To that, I have to say that I do. My life wouldn’t be anywhere near its best without it. Whenever I go a few days without a run, I feel restless, and my body feels stiff. I don’t sleep as well, feel as well, and most importantly, my mind doesn’t have that necessary means of expressing an integral part of who I am. While I’ve never really been one to feel competitive in comparison to others in the most obvious sense – certainly not in terms of how one’s life is, or the things someone has – I’ve always had that almost primal competitive need to be physical.

It is, as I would say, an insatiable need for speed.

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