Recently I saw Dean Karnazes, the famous ultramarathon runner and author of Ultramarathon Man (recommended reading for inspiration) , on Rich Roll’s Podcast.
It was a good talk covering various recent adventures of Dean’s. But at one point Rich asked Dean what he would do if he couldn’t run anymore. There was an embarrassed silence, Dean looked uncomfortable, and basically said he didn’t want to think about that.
I get it. Running was my main thing for decades (not at Dean’s level, of course). It was fun, relaxing, inspiring, and led to various adventures. During that time I would not have wanted to contemplate not running. Then in 2000 it became a reality when I got severe arthritis in my right hip. I haven’t run since. But while there were a few awkward months while transitioning to other activities, I pretty quickly came up with other things that bring me as much joy, like biking, hiking, kayaking, and canoeing. So there is definitely life after running. For me the activity that most closely approximates the feel of running is standing up to pedal for an extended period on my bike, getting into a rhythm that feels like “running on air“. And without the muscle soreness caused by the impact and eccentric contractions of running, I can actually do quite a bit more of this in a given week than the amount of running I was able to get away with without injury. Bottom line, there are many fun activities out there. Don’t let a setback that takes away a favorite activity stop you.