Running As Therapy

Yesterday, as I was cycling to the mosque for Friday prayers, a young man sitting in the passenger seat of a van suddenly shouted “BOOOOO!” right in my ear as the van overtook me. I was startled but thankfully nothing else happened. Our eyes met briefly and I could see the look of amusement in his face; clearly he finds it funny and doesn’t appreciate the fact that his immature behaviour potentially puts other people at risk of injury.

My first instinct is to chase after the van. Alas, I am no Pocket Rocketman and within seconds the van had disappeared into the distance. I know the risk of getting into arguments with strangers, but honestly, I wasn’t actually looking for a fight. What I really wanted to ask him was a simple question: Why?

Why, when so many other people can behave like civilised members of society, why is it that you can’t?

Why can’t you reign in your childish behaviour for a second and stop yourself from shouting at strangers?

Seriously, why?

I was still fuming when I reached the mosque. During the Friday ‘khutbah‘ (sermon) however, something the Imam said caught my attention. He was talking about how we sometimes harbour ill feelings towards others, especially those who mistreat us. Is it wrong to do so? What if we never acted upon those ill feelings and simply kept them in our hearts? No harm done, right?


The first victim of hatred is always our own selves. Hatred damages our hearts and prevents it from attaining peace. More often than not, the person who is the target of our ill feelings isn’t even aware of them; that young man in the van from yesterday presumably went on to enjoy the rest of his day, oblivious to the impact his idiotic act had on me.

That is why it is important to just let go of these ill feelings and just forgive others.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I went out for a run this morning to try and gather my thoughts. It wasn’t particularly cold, but the landscape was so foggy I couldn’t even see across the field. Very few people were around as it was still early. I put on a podcast and started running, pausing every now and then to marvel at interesting things like how thick the spider webs were!

Alhamdulillah, I am immensely grateful for moments like these. Increasingly, I find running to be very therapeutic, allowing me to recharge my energy, recalibrate my outlook, and appreciate the beauty of my surroundings.

Below are some pictures I took earlier. Thank you for reading. Take care, and have a nice weekend!