It's been a HUGE thing for me to quit running (competitively, that is). If my knees hadn't sent up distress signals, I'd probably still be out on the trails. But, having once given up competition, and the need to keep up with my running mates, a whole new world has opened up.
Week after week, year after year, I wanted to stay in good enough shape to run a decent 10K, and in recent years, I trained for (or obsessed over, as is the wont of true Dipsea racers) the Dipsea Race. But once I realized I couldn't do that any more, once that obligation was lifted, I found a ton of things to do -- and locally -- that I'd been neglecting -- beach combing, paddleboarding, surfing, fishing, clamming, harvesting seaweed. Back to the beach, which was my main focus for some 30 years, before I got into running. Coastal adventures.
Just going out on my old Montare bike last night, and walking on the beach -- no aerobic training necessary. I can run on the beach, but not RUN. Running for the joy of it, no need to get a training effect. Way different.
I've rediscovered the ocean. From mountain spirit back to ocean spirit as my main focus in nature. Life is pretty darn rich.