Photo Credit: sporlab via Unsplash
Reflecting on 2020 and the lessons learned
Faaris Hussain, The Mike Contributor
2020 was a drag. Barring the pandemic, school and university shutdowns, travel restrictions, and lockdowns—this past year gave us a lot more time to sit at home and think. And while this has given us more time to reconnect mentally, spiritually, and physically, it also has been extremely tough to cope with the constant isolation and feelings of loneliness.
From my own experience, being a fourth-year student and graduating in the next few months, 2020 brought events that would ultimately dash my many hopes of in-person classes, graduation ceremonies, celebrations, hangouts with friends and family, as well as planned road trips across the country. 2020 was, if anything, a reminder of how little we can actually control in our lives, and how quickly life—as we knew it—could change.
In order to get through these difficult times, many of my friends developed novel ways to both pass the time, while also being somewhat productive. Some rekindled old friendships (virtually of course) that had been neglected in the hustle and bustle of what our lives were before, and others developed new hobbies and skills—such as painting, crocheting, woodworking, and journaling.
My hobby was a simple one. Running. No materials (other than a decent pair of trainers) needed, and at least an hour in my day to devote. Running was quite possibly the best thing I discovered amidst the chaos which was 2020. When it all seemed too much, and I had had enough of being cooped up at home and staring at a screen, the feeling of changing into a snug thermal, putting on my trainers, plugging in my headphones into an upbeat playlist, was a welcome change.
But the real fun began when I started running. Whether it be feeling the sun beating down my back, or the rain pattering into my face and soaking my clothes, or the icy wind freezing the hairs on my face, running outside was nothing less than exhilarating.
Something about discovering previously unknown parts of the place in which you live, and seeing normal people go about their days, reminds you how small you really are in the world, even in the place you live.
In the physical sense, willing your body onwards, even as your muscles burned from the physical stress, was purging. There is something both symbolic and therapeutic about fighting the inner desire to fold—to stop—and to sit and rest.
Running, if done properly, can even provide an outlet for one to fight against their inner thoughts, doubts, fears, because it makes one realize the power they have to will themselves into a disciplined rhythm by casting aside their mental and physical blocks and weaknesses.
And all it takes is a decent pair of trainers and a willingness to try.