Friday, August 13, 2010

Is running an addiction, i dont think so.

I'm not sure why I kept running once I started. I would say I do have addictive personality,  Am I running addict? no, addict is bad word.  I dont like the word addict. In my opinion an addiction is something that is harmful. Something that is bad for you.. like binge drinking.. which I also know a lot about.
This might sound funny, but Im glad I was binge drinker living on or near a college campus. I think it helped me wrongfully justify blacking out almost every Friday and Saturday. If I knew I was doing something wrong I would have probably been depressed, I was never depressed in my partying days.Plus everyone else was doing it.  I was a happy dude and people were happy to see me... I think. Maybe I was drunk annoying guy....??

People do claim running is an addiction, knowing first hand about running and addiction I would say it is not. Running is something deeper than addiction. I think once you start to run distances your body knows something. Its going back to primal survival skills, it feels right. You are doing what you were designed to do. Im pretty sure it will never be fully understood, but any runner that is reading this knows the feeling Im describing. Its like you are not even yourself anymore, your just going and going.. on instinct.  Its like your not even in your own body.

Now compare that to what an alcohol or drug addiction can do to you.

I have never once went on a run and woke up the next morning face down in a gravel parking lot, wonder how I got there.

I have never once been on a run with a group and and had a giant brawl break out and had my nose broken.
I've had my nose broken twice in bar fights, didnt even start the fight or want to fight, just got punched in the face.

I have never went out on a run and ended up in the back of a police car for disorderly conduct.

I have never stayed up night, calling everyone I know wondering when I was going to get my next run.

I have never smashed up a car after a really fun night of running.

Ive never walked home after a really crazy night of running and accidental walked into the wrong house.

Ive never had to put one foot out of the bed to get the room to stop spinning after a night of running.

I have never woke up next to someone I didnt recognize the morning after a great run and tried to chew my own arm off to get away without waking this someone up.. Im stretching the truth a little on that one.

Ive never went out for a run with $200 in my pocket and returned home later to say, "dude how did spend $200"

Ive never been kicked out of Waffle house after a run for being too loud.

Ive never had to be rolled home in a shopping cart at 3am because I ran too much.

Ive never woke up the morning after a run and said, "what happened last night??"

Ive never slept in a hotel bathtub after a good night of running.

Ive never felt the urge to get up on stage after a few runs and sign Karaoke. I know I cant sign.

I was not running the night I walked through Minneapolis on new years ever, no jacket, in a blizzard, lost ,yelling at the police to arrest me so I could go to jail for the night to be warm. I was also not running the next day when I didnt move an inch out of the hotel bed because i felt so sick, i should have been in the hospital I think.

I was not running the night I woke up and yelled out, "who dumped beans and rice on me" to which my friends replied--- "you had beans and rice for dinner, you need to clean that puke up now" 

Ive never slept on cold, tile, bathroom floor after a run.

Ive never eaten out of a Mcdonald dumpster at 3am after a good night of running. To my credit, I knew some of the people that worked at that mcdonalds and they would bag up all the food that didnt sell and leave it in the dumpster for us.

Ive never almost burnt our house down because I passed with a pizza in the oven after a good run...

i could go on and on. I think the biggest difference I see is an addiction usually involves a chemical or something that altering your mind.
I dont know the exact definition of addiction but to me running is not and addiction, its more of an instinct, an instinct that people become passionate about.


  1. Running is the an easy metaphor for life. I've personally seen it transcend lives and change people for the better. However, I disagree. Running can be addictive. Normally running is not harmful and of course is usually the exact opposite. But some runners are so into the sport that they will go into denial about their injuries, push their bodies beyond exhaustion, and give up other precious things in life just to run more. I love running; it is my passion. If I wasn't able to run, I would be a very cranky and negative person. But one must know where the line is and not cross it. ANYTHING can be addictive if your brain decides to obsess on it.

  2. All good points. I have thought about this a lot, along the same lines. people do get injuried, go into denial, skip commitments to go run and things like that which by definition would be addiction.
    with my past, when i hear the word addiction i automatically thing drugs and alcohol.
    Im obsessive about running but i have no trouble doing the right things when im injuried. I stop and recover and do that right thing, which some dont.
    when a person starts to add chemicals into the mix all bets are off. its just the way i look at the word i guess. i completely see and agree with your points as well. i just dont think i would ever call my running an addiction... maybe im in denial already and dont know it. yikes.