Why I Love Running
“The more I run, the more I want to run, and the more I live a life conditioned and influenced and fashioned by my running. And the more I run, the more certain I am that I am heading for my real goal: to become the person I am.”
Over twenty years ago I quit smoking and started running. At that time, I was a young mom with four daughters.
Running gave me a break from the girls, set a good example and gave me an outlet from the craziness of raising a family. It was a life changing decision that continues to benefit me today.
Why I love running:
It provides mental toughness
A year ago I ran a ½ marathon in Atlanta. I made the mistake of not training on hills. I struggled the last five miles telling myself, “I can. I will. I can. I will.” And I did.
When life is hard and unfair, as I runner, I know how to dig down and find strength. I’ve stood up to hardship by running through difficult times. I ran when my teenagers were testing boundaries, through my mom’s cancer and when my husband lost his job.
Like life, running takes courage—everyday kind of courage.
Running is fun.
There are several fun elements involved in running: discovering new routes, running in other cities, trying out new shoes, getting a t-shirt and medal at the finish line.
Runners are social and love to have pre-race dinners and post race parties. Entire weekends can be filled with expos and events centered on the main event. There’s a buzz of excitement that can’t be squelched no matter what the weather. Like the cloud of dust envelops Pig Pen in the Peanuts cartoon, a cloud of joy outlines a runner.
It gives me an opportunity to quiet my inner critic.
I’ve learned to keep my eye on the competition. I choose a runner a bit ahead of me and vow to pass them. Each time I do I’m reminded that I’m always capable of a little more than I think I am…I’ve learned how to turn off the little negative voice and persevere.
Runners experience nature at its best.
In Michigan running allows me to experience the seasons with all of my senses. In the spring, an early morning run gives me the opportunity to be the first one to see dawn break, the ducks swimming on the lake, and the flowers blossom.
In the summer I glisten with sweat, run on the beach, enter midnight runs and eat more ice cream.
In the fall, my senses are filled with the sounds of a football game, the leaves crunching under my feet and the sight of frost on the pumpkins.
In the winter I’m challenged to crawl out of bed and slip into the morning darkness and freezing cold. I’ve ran under the stars, fallen on ice, and have been blinded by blizzards.
In Arizona the running is easy. The bright sun and clear blue sky are my constant companions. Shorts and a light shirt are the norm. Add water and I'm good to go.
Running keeps me thin.
My nine siblings are all tall. I was the only short one in the family. I’ve used running to reduce and manage my weight. I’ve gained a stronger self-image.
Running burns 100 calories per mile, more than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. Running combined with a healthy diet have kept me at the same weight for years.
Running keeps me physically healthy.
I have better circulation, a stronger heart, excellent blood pressure and physical endurance. Running raises my HDL (good cholesterol) and helps prevent heart disease.
Running keeps me young.
It slows my aging process. Running promotes the human growth hormone that helps me stay young. I have less muscle and bone loss than other women my age. My legs and body are strong and capable. I have an after glow that lasts the rest of the day.
Running relieves stress.
I use it for problem solving while allowing any stress to roll off my shoulders with each step and every mile. Long country roads rid me of negative energy. When I’m angry, I do short but fast runs. Over the years, running has helped me feel less moody, less tired and less confused.
Running makes me confident.
It allows me time to think, to dream, to plan and be inspired to do greater things. My mind becomes focused and determined. Running gives me a move-a-mountain mentality. I’ve quit making excuses. I hold myself accountable.
Running has allowed me to be a good role model.
Both friends and family admire me for being disciplined enough to make running a lifestyle. My daughters run, walk and one does triathlons.
Most people think they aren’t capable of running. I have a different opinion.
Physically challenged people are excellent runners. I’ve seen 75 year olds finish marathons, blind people run and soldiers with prosthetics finish races.
I’ve seen people run for a cause and raise hundreds of dollars for their favorite charity. Those who inspire me the most are the athletes in wheel chairs. With focus and determination, using half their body strength they finish ultra marathons.
Running keeps my mind positive.
Knowing I’m capable of running a 25K continues to amaze me and gives me a feeling of empowerment and freedom.
Running provides a natural high caused by endorphins that is exhilarating and offers me a general state of happiness. Life is my adventure, I love running. I believe we were born to run!
My current lesson: learning to like strength training and yoga. I've incorporated them into my exercise plan and need to commit for the rest of my life!
Instead I'm taking one day at a time. I stay in the present moment as much as I possibly can during the work outs.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.
What do you need to incorporate into your lifestyle?
What do you love to do?
What were you born to do?