In the wake of the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I’d like to remind myself of the good in the world. As my heart aches for the unimaginable loss suffered by the families in Newtown, I would like to share some moments that restore my faith in humanity. While it may only be a temporary fix, at least it transforms my sadness to joy. Happy New Year everybody
Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed.com unless otherwise stated.
The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever
The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy
The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man
The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital
The man who soothes his arthritic dog that saved his life
Source: johnschoep.zenfolio.com / via: buzzfeed.com
These candidates for Parents of the Year award
And for every single moment anything like this happened.
Here are some tips to maximize your run:
- Relax. You might think that is impossible when your legs are pumping and your breathing is heavy, but try practicing a little relaxation. Start with your shoulders. Drop your shoulders. Relax your arms and your hands. Roll your head, relax your upper muscles. Then move down, relax your hips and let your legs move effortlessly. You’ll find a big difference in your technique, not to mention your overall enjoyment of running once you master the art of relaxation.
- Breath through your nose. Our impulse when we run is to draw in as much air as possible, so that means breathing through your mouth. Try taking deep breaths through your nose. This will not only help with your relaxation but will allow your body to run at a pace that is right for you, rather than forcing a faster pace by breathing heavily through the mouth. Think of yogic postures where you breath in through your right nostril and out through your left.
- Enjoy your surroundings. What better time to notice those spring buds coming up or the blue sky. Even if it’s raining or dark, look up and see the moon and the stars. Feel the rain on your face (it’s quite refreshing!). Running is the perfect pace for enjoying the scenery. Make the most of your runs and see what nature has to say to you.
- Run on the balls of your feet. Try making as little noise as you can while running, avoiding thumping down on your heel. Running shoes are terrible for promoting “light” running with their heavy heel padding. (I will be experimenting with barefoot running soon, stay tuned!) Run as if you are on eggshells, treading lightly while keeping your upper body tilted slightly forward. A lighter runner is a faster and more efficient runner.
- Vary your pace. Running can get monotonous. Pick up your pace if you’re feeling a little frisky, or slow it down if you’re feeling rugged. One of the benefits of running is you can do whatever you want, so run however you feel. Vary your running with sprints, long, slow runs and hills. Not only will you improve your skills, you will find the technique and stride that is right for you.
Here is something I really cannot understand. Fellow runners who do not smile when we pass each other. When I run, I feel fantastic! Okay, maybe not while I’m chugging up that hill, but generally I’m happy. And what makes me even happier is seeing other runners.
Running is a mind sport. It’s your mind that keeps you going all those kilometers. It’s what’s in your head (or what you tell yourself) that gets you up those hills, that gets you out the door and what makes you sign up for those races. Once your body is trained, it’s all in the mind.
So when I pass other runners it’s not a competition. There is no race (and even if it were, I would still smile). Endorphins are firing, the sun is shining and we’re lucky to be healthy. To be able to run! So I often wonder, what is up with people who don’t smile back? Could be they’re lost in thought, oblivious to their surroundings. Very possible and I often find myself lost in thought as well.
If you happen to be a runner, smile back when someone smiles. It feels good, its encouraging and above all, it says we’re in this together.