~ Last week, my mom posted about why she runs. Before I read her post, I wanted to write my own version – from my perspective. I thought that maybe we would view running differently, and maybe some of our readers that didn’t relate to and weren’t inspired by her post might better relate to a teen girl’s thoughts. So for those of you that this might inspire (and even for those of you that it won’t), here’s a little bit of the logic behind us crazy runners.~
Why do I run?
That’s a pretty hard question to answer, honestly. It’s sort of like asking a tree why it grows leaves. Does it like it? Not necessarily. Does it have to? Not really. It’s just what it does. That is, in the most basic sense, what running is to me.
But for those of you non-runners, let me highlight some of the benefits:
#1 – Stay in Shape
Obviously. This is why most people start running in the first place. (I started early, probably in first or second grade, so this really wasn’t the primary reason for me to start, but it is one of the reasons why I have kept running and is one of my favorite perks of this particular hobby.)
#2 – Make Friends and Meet People
This is something not everyone considers, but it’s definitely true. Runners, like most groups of people sharing a common interest, automatically take interest in other runners, too. Being a runner gives you something big in common with thousands of people (and if you run for a club or school team, you’ll quickly make friends among your teammates).
I can’t tell you how many races I’ve finished next to random strangers who immediately turn around and slap me a high-five or comment to me about that last hill / how muddy the trail was / how much fun they had / what a good job I did. Starting lines are also some of the best places to make friends. You’re packed so close together anyway – why not start a conversation?
Bottom line: Running makes you part of an exclusive community in which you can meet people who share your interest.
#3 – Exercise Your Dog!
My dog is mostly Jack Russell Terrier. Enough said.
#4 – Clear Your Mind
Running, especially in nature, is a great form of meditation. There’s something incredibly calming about the steady rhythm of your feet and breath, and it’s easy to become so singularly focused on it that you lose yourself in the beat. Running is also great for getting out frustrations and managing stress.
#5 – Get Some Fresh Air
Running is the perfect sport for any weather, because it can be done anytime, anywhere, including inside. Unfortunately for me, I simply cannot stand treadmill running (it’s just so boring …), which means I’ve gotta be ready to throw on a jacket and go outside, even in the winter. (And trust me. I’m an Ohioan. I know winter.)
Sometimes it’s a bit of a struggle to convince myself to get out there, but as soon as I do, I’m always glad to be outdoors, in nature (even when it’s 20 degrees below zero) because there’s something beautifully pure about the air – something I can never quite replicate when I’m working out inside.
# 6 – Know Stuff
How better to impress your friends than by throwing random running vocabulary and insights into your conversations? (Who cares if you actually know what the words mean? As a runner, you’re qualified to use them!)
#7 – Have Something to Be Passionate About
As with any hobby, running gives you something to be excited about, and something enjoyable to spend time doing.
And really, what more can you ask for?
P.S. After I finished writing this post, I went back and read my mom’s. Some of the reasons why we run are sort of the same, but most of them are super different, like I thought they would be. I think one of the best parts of running is that it means different things to different people … that’s the whole point! You can check her post out HERE.