Somehow the sound in this world out there is loud, raw, unmindful. This makes our columnist think and he wishes he had more space for us. Running is his haven of calm. But it’s about more.
I went for a long run with the dogs today. In the forest. The wind was raging above us, the first autumn storm has just arrived in the north. The air is clear and cold, the first deep breaths almost hurt. And at the same time it was so nice to just breathe.
Mike Kleiß has been doing sports since he was a child. “If you move, you achieve more” is his motto in life. Running was always his favorite topic. He has been running between 15 and 20 kilometers almost every day for the past seven years, often in marathons and sometimes in ultra marathons. So far, our columnist has published two books on running. He is the founder and managing director of the communications agency GOODWILLRUN. Mike Kleiß lives with his family in Hamburg and Cologne. He writes about running here every Thursday.
breathe, yes That’s what I really miss sometimes. I’m finding out more and more that I’m often simply holding my breath because of the tension, that I’m breathing irregularly. When asked why, I’m now very clear: It’s the permanent tension and I’m probably not the only one with that.
A current representative study by a large insurance company shows what is on our minds at the moment. And no, it’s not Corona! The topics are: inflation, unaffordable living space, economic collapse. The “fear of the Germans” is that everything is getting more and more expensive, that we can no longer really afford to live. Incidentally, it is interesting in this study that the fear of natural disasters and extreme weather are mentioned only in sixth place. The fear of climate change has only made it to the top of the target age group of 14 to 19 year olds. Sometimes I actually feel like I’m 19!
In addition to running regularly as a basic anti-fear monger, I try to do more and more for my inner balance. And I think it’s becoming increasingly important to take that to heart. In bed, the cell phone has been switched to flight mode for a long time. I no longer want to go to sleep with bad news. In general, I have restricted my social media activities; I now only use my cell phone, tablet and laptop 80 percent as work tools.
It is becoming more and more important to do good for yourself. And it seems more important than ever to take good care of yourself. Not just now and then, but every day. These times are also an opportunity for all of us. Even if it’s difficult: We have to take more time off. For example – and this sounds banal at first – to start cooking again. If Heidi Klum is to be believed, she’s in shape because she moves enough, does enough sport, and follows an iron rule: to cook for herself. No ready meals from the supermarket, no ordering from the pizza service, seldom visits to restaurants. According to the motto: You are the only one in control of your healthy diet, even if you throw things into the cooking pot yourself.
Assuming responsibility again, for yourself and your well-being, only that can be the key to success. Incidentally, this also includes a proper part of preventive measures. Why do we always wait for the bruises and ailments to begin? Why don’t we work as a precaution on our psyche, on our physique? For a clear head I have running, long walks with the dogs, long bike rides on my racing bike.
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Then there is the “body part”. Get enough sleep, especially deep sleep. A healthy diet and regular downtime. Yes, even in everyday life. In the meantime, even on a hard working day, I prescribe at least two hours in which I only do something for myself. This is the only way I feel “ready” for the future. And this is exactly what many are worried about.
With new energy, which I recharge every day, I feel like making a change again. Also political. And I don’t seem to be alone with that. A recent study shows: Although the majority of young people (66 percent) perceive their generation as one who wants to change something politically, less than a third (29 percent) feel they can influence politics. Three quarters (75 percent) experience German democracy as too cumbersome to solve current and future challenges. Young people are correspondingly pessimistic about the future: 86 percent are worried about their future. Only eight percent hope that their children will one day be better off than they are.
Since I just became a father, the last sentence is crucial. I would like my daughter to be better off than me one day. Or at least as good. In order to do that, I have to start with myself. With the gain of new energy, with more balance for myself. Because I am very clear to myself: I can only do something good for others if I can do something good for myself, give myself the freedom and space to do so.
That’s how it works.