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Running, Running, Running Away From Stress

Running is my escape and a way to work through problems or think of nothing. Everyone should have an outlet to handle stress.

Peter Messana's headshoot
By Peter Messana - CEO

I run every day. I rarely miss a day unless I’m traveling. Even last night I got home and it was pouring, so I skipped my after-work run and instead waited out the rain and ran at 9pm. I don’t always run very far, just often. Never less than 2 miles, never more than 6 miles.

But why do I run? I typically joke with people that I run because I eat and drink, it is to negate my vices. But truth-to-be-told, I run because it is a 20-60 minute brain cleanse. It is so needed for me that even when injured I chose to walk 2x my typical run.

Work is stressful. Life is stressful. 

This is my escape and a way to work through different problems or just think of nothing. I typically do things like write a blog in my head on the run such that when I am done I jot down notes or just hammer it out. I think through problems, their solutions, and the varying effects of the final decision. I also sometimes do nothing. I have found I can alter what type of therapy I will get from the run.

Listen to a podcast:

I have to pay attention to the podcast such that I typically never think about anything else, I forget I am running and instead I listen to the story. My favorite podcast is “How I Built This”. If you like to hear about how people built their businesses, it is great.

Listen to music:

This is filler in my head. I couldn’t tell you what song was played, it is just noise. I typically bounce around with thoughts.

Listen to nothing:

This is the deepest thinking. There is no distraction and I can dive in deep. I rarely do this as I don’t feel nearly as refreshed and end up also thinking about the run and the distance, which is never a good thing.

Run with someone:

This is my all-time favorite. The last couple of weeks I ran with my CMO at 6:30am. We talked about work, we talked about life, and we talked about random things. We ran further than I normally would as we were so consumed that I had no idea the distance.

However I run, it is all about a stress cleanse and refresh, all in varying ways. I do believe that everyone should have an outlet to both disconnect and also just a method to handle stress. I encourage everyone to find something – anything – that helps refresh your mind.