It’s true that anyone, at any stage of life, can become a runner; but it’s not until you feel the eagerness for your next race or the overwhelming delight when your feet hit the trail, that you can truly say you’ve fallen in love with the sport.
I have seen others share their reasoning behind “why” they love to run – I thought it would be fun to share my own experience and reasons behind why I love to run. It may seem strange to some, but I truly believe running can change your life.
Here are my top 5 reasons I love to run.
Running came into my life when I truly needed it most.
It wasn’t too long ago, although it feels like an entire lifetime, that I was in the midst of an abusive relationship – both emotionally and physically abusive.
A lot of factors contributed to my ability to leave my abusive ex – including an incredible support system that is my family. I was very lucky in this way. But aside from that, I can pin-point precise moments in which I realized my confidence grew enough for me to understand my own worth; that it was far greater than my experiences in those moments. Running was a tangible measurement of my capabilities – a rebuild of myself.
Measurable goals are so rewarding. Similar to when you study hard to earn a good grade on an exam – it takes hard work, but when you finally get that desired grade back the reward is undeniable. The same goes for running.
REASON TO EXPLORE
When I first began running I actually didn’t enjoy running outside. It sounds crazy to even say now because my mindset has since completely changed. I have always been really self-conscious and shy. Everything I did (including how I walked) I would analyze in my own head, then worry how others saw it. I am nowhere-near over my “shyness,” but I have grown into myself over the years, caring less about what people think (especially when it comes to “how I walk,” lol)
Now, running is by far my favorite way to explore new locations, and even my own city. It’s the introvert in me that gets to explore, but remain (in many ways) by myself.
ASTHMA CAN’T STOP ME
When I finished my first half marathon something incredibly strange happened to me. I began to cry. My eyes didn’t just produce tiny clouds of tears. Full streams began falling down my face, and I couldn’t stop it.
It wasn’t the aches in my muscles and knees causing me to cry, although believe me there was aching. The tears came from a place of deep emotional relief, gratitude, and overall sense of accomplishment.
When I first began “running” (over 5 years ago) I physically could not run a quarter mile. I would quickly become exhausted and often need my inhaler. The fact I was physically capable of running over 13-miles for the half marathon broke an emotion barrier within me, I didn’t even know was there. The feelings were a rush, something I continue to chase, and one of the biggest reasons I push myself – because I know just about anything is possible.
RUNNING MAKES ME A BETTER (NICER) PERSON
Running relieves any built up stress I’m holding onto. The natural rush of endorphins immediately changes my mood, and (for lack of better terms) it just makes me feel so freakin’ good!
The love for the sport does not mean it’s easy. Not everyday is easy, and not everyday am I lacing-up with a giant smile; but I know once I begin, I don’t want to stop, and the feeling after a good run is beyond gratifying.
CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
As I mentioned, running is a way for me to measure my progress, and I’m only competing against myself. Once I understood that, it became easier for me to come out of my shell a little more during running events. Like any hobby, running (if you want it to) can connect you with a community of people who enjoy the same thing(s) as you.
“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be. In running the mind flees with the body, the mysterious efflorescence of language seems to pulse in the brain, in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.”
― Joyce Carol Oates
This post was a very personal account of my reasons for running. Now I want to hear yours! Or tell me any other hobbies you have that bring you similar joy.