Welcome to the fight and flight response, a forum for all things running, nutrition, and travel related!

You have all surely heard of the “fight or flight response” – our body’s innate reaction to a perceived threat, attack or, in some cases, a response to a physical need, causing us to “fight” or “flee” for our survival.

But why the “and” and what does it have to do with running?

When I decided to start a running blog, I contemplated the many things I love about the sport. I immediately flashed back to a few key races in my running career – all very different experiences, at various stages of my running history. I thought about the moments before each race – the goals I hungered to achieve, the butterflies in my stomach, the buzz of the crowds; the early and middle miles – the mass “flight” across the start line, the rush of adrenalin, the intense focus; the late stages – the physical pain and/or exhaustion, the mental battle, the “fight” to keep pushing; and lastly, the finish – that final sprint that comes out of nowhere, that moment you cross the finish line and stop your watch, that indescribable feeling of relief, happiness, shock and so many other emotions when say to yourself – I DID IT.

I have always been a goal-oriented person and thus love the training process – picking a challenge, watching myself gradually improve and feeling that incredible sense of accomplishment when, after so much hard work, I succeed. Even better, when I set a goal and then surprise myself by achieving far beyond what I had hoped. Either way, after every race, I’m always fascinated by what I just pushed my body to do.

Obviously, not all runs are successful – I’ve had my fair share of disappointing races and training runs, but hey, that’s part of how you become a stronger runner. It’s good to have some dark moments in recent memory so that during your next big challenge, you can remind yourself  that you picked yourself up and kept on going.

Running also means so much more to me than structured training and achieving certain race times. I love those carefree, aimless runs during which I can take in the scenery, relax into a comfortable pace, obey my body rather than my GPS watch, and let my thoughts wander. And like everyone, I need to take running breaks, especially after a big race. But soon enough, the hunger to run returns, stronger than before, and I can’t resist my desire to go after a new challenge.

So, why do I run?

Plain and simple – it’s a physical need and makes me happy. But as with everything in life, it’s important to achieve a balance – between the “fight,” the “flight” and everything else in between.

I love comments and email! Don’t hesitate to get in touch at thefightandflightresponse@gmail.com