Terms of Addiction

they’re worse than the cats!

Addictions are bad, right? The very term indicates the inability to stop, the ever-increasing quest for the source of our dependence. It means we overdo whatever it is that we are doing, and that we can’t stop doing “it.”

My “it” is running. A running addiction? Is there such a thing? I have never thought I had a particularly addictive personality, at least not for the “normal” things. One glass of wine? Yup, I’m done. Drugs? Why on earth would I want to lose control of myself? How would that make my life better? Hmmm, seems like my OCD may have saved me there.

But books, those I am addicted to. My favorite authors, my favorite genres, I can’t put them down. I would read until 1 am to finish the book, then end up going into work groggy the next day (not that different from my hung over co-workers, I guess). And now running. At least I don’t run in the dark, so no grogginess there! Just the inability to move easily the day after a hard run.

What are the signs of a running addiction? These are my symptoms:
 I get jealous when I see other runners when I am working or driving
 I measure hills, wondering if I could conquer them
 I look at the scenery when I am driving with the thought, “this would make a great run”
 Reading what other runners are doing make me want to go out and do that too
I go through withdrawal when I am prevented from running by weather or happenstance
I plan my week around when I can run

Are you addicted to your sport? Are your symptoms the same as mine, or do you have others? And, really, do we care if we are addicted?

If we are 90 lb runners, made of sinew and bone, then yes, we need an intervention. And fast. But as I am at least 40 lbs away from that, I am not going to worry just yet. I am, of course, not the first person to delve into the idea of a running (or exercise) addiction.

In one article  the authors–Adam Goucher & Tim Catalano– compare the actual 7 signs addiction to how they feel about running. In it, Goucher & Catalano point out that when runners say we are “addicted,” we are not in any way making light of “real problems people addicted to substances or detrimental behaviors like gambling face.  Rather they are trying to communicate their passion for running and how much of their lives revolve around making sure they get their next fix.” Check out the article to see if you really do have the 7 signs of addiction.

And if you do, then check out this article to make sure your addiction is a positive one! Everything, even our exercise, can devolve if taken to excess. “The exercise addict has lost his balance: Exercise has become overvalued compared to elements widely recognized as giving meaning in a full life — work, friends, family, community involvement — in short, the fruits of our humanity.” Happily, although I do check off several of the addiction sign boxes, I still have a positive addiction 🙂

I still have days when I just don’t wanna!


2 thoughts on “Terms of Addiction

  1. I don’t think running specifically is my addiction, though it is getting there. It’s not enough to ‘go to the gym’, or ‘workout’ anymore. Yoga is its own category. Same with biking. Same with running. I love them all and I have to get enough of all of them or I start getting antsy. One of those, “I haven’t done yoga in a week. I’m a slacker! Never mind that I ran 15 miles. I didn’t do any tree poses. I’m a failure at life. ;-; ” It can be frustrating sometimes to say the least.

    I absolutely plan my week / month / life around my workouts. And I get upset (read hell-hath-no-fury-POed) if something happens to interfere with my ability to get to the gym. Like… sometimes I scare myself with how angry I’ll get if I have to change or miss my workout.

    I consider my workouts one of the most important things in my life. They are associated with my health and in a way are connected to my faith since I consider them a way to honor the body I have been given. So I tend to take personal offense when I feel like I have to give up my workout time. It feels like being told I’m not allowed to go to church.

    That’s totally not a withdrawal symptom, and I’m totally not in denial… >.>;

    At the moment, with needing to lose 60 lbs for the Army I don’t think my ‘addiction’ is really a problem. I still function in society, I get my work done, the apartment is taken care of (because chores can be a workout on their own. It’s a win-win for everyone XD), and all of my bills are paid. I still get fulfillment from other things like my schoolwork and personal projects, when I’m not being a hermit I hang out with people, and nothing can be better than a rare steak.

    Or zucchini fries… Oh, man… I take my statement about the steak back… Zucchini fries are #1.

    The articles are extremely interesting. While I do have several (ok… all…) signs of addiction based on the first article, according to the second I haven’t swung into the ‘out of balanced, this is a bad thing, you need interference’ spectrum. I guess it’s something to be aware of.

    I like to think everyone has a vice. If I’m going to have one I would rather it be something that benefits me in some way rather than, as you mentioned, drinking or drugs.

    Though on a technical level maybe it is a drug / chemical addiction. Mmmmm, endorphins…. I’m going to go get my fix now. : D

    One small note to go with the novel I wrote; with the font and color choice used for your blog it was hard to tell what text was the links for the articles. It might help to underline future text so it stands out from the rest of the paragraph. Just a thought. Thanks for taking the time to write such a thought provoking post. ^^


    • Thanks for thinking so much about my post! I think my vice is coffee and running (and yoga, I agree about not doing my tree poses) is my addiction. I will work on my links, sometimes they look like normal links and sometimes they don’t. Love technology. really, I do.Really.

      Liked by 1 person

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