Thursday, August 2, 2012

Am I An Addict?

I Am An Addict

This is a first for me. I am about to admit, in writing that I have an addiction. Yes that's right, I am an addict. Many people in the last three years told me I had a problem. I didn't listen. I thought they were crazy. There is no way I could be put in the same category as an addict. I say that word and cringe inside. How could somebody call me that! Here is what woke me up.

I thought long and hard about the definition of addict. My vision was simple, a person living on the streets full of mind altering substances. So far from reality that they didn't know where they were, never mind who they were. I could see their dirty clothes and desperate eyes. Their whole existence depended on their next high. When not high on their addition they thought about it until they could accomplish that high again. I decided to form a list to use as a guide line to PROVE I was not an addict.


1 .Uses their high to "feel" good.

2. Tries to hide their love for the high.

3. Comes up with creative ways to obtain their high.

4. Thinks about the high until it comes, then may experience pain and even swear not to do it again, until the next time.

5. Allows the high to take control of their life to the point that their life evolves around it.

6. Will not admit how much they crave the high

7. Will plan ahead and fantasize about the high.

8. Overdoes it to the point that they can't function properly.

9. Finds some comfort surrounding themselves with "like" Addicts.

10. Takes their craving everywhere they go --- there is no vacation from it.

After reading these points, I realized that I was in fact an addict, it was so hard to believe! You see, I am a runner. I run 4-5 days a week, many times 6 or even twice a day. I often get up at 5:00 Am to get my run in. I fantasize about my runs and my races. I plan way in advance for my high. I could run in the afternoon, experience severe pain and limp as I go to bed at night. Get up in the morning all lame and limping to the door. I would start running in serious pain and still continue. At the end of a run I am usually so exhausted that I can't breathe.

When I run races, It is normal to ask myself why I am putting my body through this as I run. But I don't stop I keep striving for that high. I run in the winter, I run in the rain, I run on vacation. I ran a Marathon. In preparation I would run on the weekends for 3 and 4 hrs straight. During the race I had numerous physical problems.

My leg muscles cramped so bad that I could hardly walk. I still continued. At one point I think I was hallucinating, yup, I still kept going. I didn't stop until I got my high. After 26.2 miles, I finally stopped running, then could hardly stand up. The next day my muscles were so bad I struggled to get out of bed, and could not walk down stairs. Two days later, I went for a run. I kept running…. Then I ran a 50K……and now am training to run a 50 miler.

I have running buddies and all we talk about is running. I belong to a track club and run practice on a track. What do we talk about at track? Running! I looked at the 10 items listed and I qualified for all of them…………………. I am surely an addict!!


X-City said...


Loved this post. I recently came across the book Spark by harvard psychiatry professor John Ratey which explores the relationship between exercise and the brain. Turns out that we're all addicts...

Here's a clip of Ratey discussing the biological relationship between the body,the brain, and the mind. Interesting stuff to think about during long trail runs.

Really enjoying the blog and hope to see you this Sunday at the Breaker!


Anonymous said...

Amen Brother,

My name is Harold and I fully admit that I am addicted to running. I spend more money than I should on shoes, gear and gadgets - all in hopes that I find the magic combination that will make me faster than I ever have been. ;-)

Love the post!!!

Sparkplug said...

Ha! Could be worse things to be addicted to :-)

mindy said...

Hell yeah Pathfinder!