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Hand-in-Hand: What Running Can Teach Us About Baking

Fall is finally here, and that means pumpkin-spice beverages and all the yummy baked goods that go with them: caramel-glazed apple muffins and pumpkin-cheesecake cupcakes and so much more. It also means autumn runs through cool, crisp air and piles of glowing scarlet leaves. And while it may seem as if one has nothing to do with the other, the act of running can actually teach us a lot about the pleasure of baking. Here are three examples:

It’s a welcome distraction. A daily run offers a pleasant diversion from life’s routines and stresses. It’s an opportunity to let your mind wander and to tap deep into creative juices. With each steady strike of your foot (or repetitive beat of your batter), you can noodle through your pressing problems or relish the chance to just forget them. And just as with baking, there is the sweet satisfaction of accomplishment at the end.

It’s an activity with few barriers. Save a decent pair of running shoes, running is an activity that requires little investment. Open your front door and go, whether it’s 5 a.m. or 8 p.m., whether it’s sunny or raining or in between. Similarly, your kitchen is always open, waiting for you to whip up your latest masterpiece. You only need a few basic ingredients and your imagination.

It represents possibility. Running energizes the soul as well as the body, making it seem as if life’s possibilities are endless. Baking too can represent something satisfying and significant, especially if you bake with joy and love — and if you share the finished product with others.