Yehuda Mansell

Running While Under Fire

For those of us who run/bike or workout on a regular basis, we know that intense physical activity is our number one stress-reliever, not only that, but it might be a small addiction. However, in times like these with sirens and rockets, getting out there and hitting the streets is not always the easiest thing to do.

Knowing I’ll go batty without racking-up some kilometers, I’ve come up with a few ideas that enable me to burn off the extra adrenaline and to do so in a relatively safe manner:

  1. Listen for the “weather report”. If the rockets are falling every few minutes – um, just hang-out in the stairwell or security room. *see Alternatives below.
  2. Plan your route well – I try to ensure that my urban route doesn’t leave me out in the open for an extended period of time, so that wherever I might be running, I can make it to a stairwell in 60 seconds or less. So, those awful-looking 70s stilt-apartments are actually really cool. I like to go up and down Mtzada in Beersheva, lots of cover.
  3. Go urban. Considering that the majority of rockets land in “open places”, logic says those are good places to avoid. Plus, if something happens and you need help, your chances are much better in an urban environment.
  4. Take a phone – this is more for those who love you, so that if a siren goes off while you are out, they can check in on ya.
  5. Be a gearhead – pack a bit more than you need, ID, phone, a little extra water in case you get stuck out there waiting for the silliness to pass.
  6. Keep your expectations reasonable – forget about record-setting times or a rigid training regime. There is way too much stress in the air to focus on the data. Instead, just run for the sheer primal joy of it. That is unless a rocket is bearing down on you, and then you might be really surprised by how fast you can actually run.


Okay, maybe if you live in Sderot or Eshkol, getting out for a run is about as safe as licking a moving chainsaw. So, here’s what I’ve done on particularly “stormy” days. I run stairs, lots of them, over and over. Or I work on my core, push-ups, planks, lunges, crunches or some other self-torture.

Also, a number of gyms have their workout rooms open these days and while the idea of a treadmill is about as exciting as a tooth-extraction, for me, not running is akin to a colonoscopy and I really hate colonoscopies.

So, get out there, run it off, and by taking care of our physical and mental health, we win yet another battle against those who’d like to destroy us.

The saddest part about these creative “rocket runs” is not being able to run with my running buddy and coach, the Budgie.

Someday soon my little superhero, we’ll go “camel hunting” again!


Note: these tips and idea in no way smarter than the directions of the Homefront Command. Hey, this is Israel, we downplay just about everything but football and politics, so if they say, “stay home,” take it seriously.

Budgie and Camels Near Beersheva
The Budgie and Camels Near Beersheva
About the Author
35, Canadian, Father of three, Husband of one. IT background, Writer/Editor, Beat-poet, Student, Geek, Ultra-runner.
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