For me, running is a lot of things:
You get the picture: Running is ALL the things.
It just depends on the day. And it all depends on my attitude. A bad attitude can turn a good run into misery. But a good attitude can turn a bad run into a really great opportunity to learn about yourself as a runner.
Some days, I come back from running feeling like an Olympian. Other days, I feel like it was the first run I’d ever done. But, typically, I’ve found that running is a great reflection of other areas of my life in that I get out of it what I put into it.
When people found out I started running, they had a lot to say about it:
- That’s so bad for your knees.
- You’re going to hurt yourself.
- You know, running isn’t for everyone. (This one typically featured the side-eye and head tilt.)
- You don’t have to run.
- Running’s so boring.
Honestly, I still hear some of these things when people find out I run.
But you know what I say to that?
- So is weighing 271 pounds and trying to walk around doing regular everyday things.
- Possibly. But I
couldwill most likely, at some point, hurt myself walking down the sidewalk.
- No, indeed it’s not. But it is for me.
- Yes I do.
- Running can be boring — but it also can be the most amazing thing I do on a given day.
And then they go on to ask me why I run. I tell them: health, fitness, happiness. I tell them: I enjoy it; it challenges me; it helps me de-stress. I tell them: Because I can. But, really, it’s even more than that. I run so I can:
Hike — and enjoy it
Climb dunes — and not have to stop a zillionty times to catch my breath
Eat good food — and not feel guilty or ashamed
Swim and frolic on the beach — and not feel completely uncomfortable and embarrassed
Go fishing with people who matter to me — and not feel completely uneasy on a boat with limited move-around space
Spend time with friends — and do things we all enjoy doing
Running is about being able to do things I wasn’t able to do before because I didn’t take care of my(whole)self. Running is about making myself better, healthier, happier.
Really, I run so I can live.
Special note: Many of these same reasons/responses could be given when people ask me why I eat the way I do.
Could these things be accomplished with other activities? Zumba? Walking? Biking? Swimming? Yes. Indeed they could. But, you know what? Running makes me happy; running makes me proud. So I do what I love. Trust me, when you find that activity that you truly love to do, it will happen for you, too. It’s not about motivation or deprivation. It’s about enjoyment; it’s about living.