For some reason I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately- the reasons why I enjoy running when I’ve not really been a very active person throughout much of my life (and don’t get me wrong, I still definitely love being lazy!). Times that I had tried to run or work out in the past were typically all about weight loss or weight control, and that has very little to do with why I run now. The reasons that I keep running have much more to do with:
- Self-esteem. Quite simply, conquering (or at least surviving through ;)) something that isn’t always easy does a lot for my confidence. It makes me feel like I can persevere through things that are hard and come out the other side stronger. It also gives me a sense of identity and purpose that isn’t always easy to find. And at the end of a long day where it feels like nothing has gone right, running is always right there waiting for me.
- A goal. Sometimes in adulthood we don’t have an objective goal, particularly when we’re out of school and don’t have kids, etc. What exactly is there to be working towards? Sure, I want to be successful in my job and my marriage, but there aren’t always real measures related to that. Running gives me an objective way to measure my improvement over time and show that working at something pays off in the end, which is a fantastic lesson.
- Social life and fun. I look forward to my weekend runs with Pamela all week, and even if you’re not BFF with other runners, the running community gives you a sense of belonging. I’m passionate about the same things that millions of other people are, too. I can’t even count the number of times at work that Brenna or Demian and I have had long conversations about running, and even my hairdresser wanted to talk my ear off about all of her marathons.
- Stress Relief. Ah, the sense of release that comes after a long, hard run. My mind goes blank and any anxiety I had is gone- at least for a little while! There’s really nothing like it to keep me calm and focused!
So there it is in short. I’m sure everyone who has something they’re passionate about feels similarly, but I’m so glad that I’m doing something that has all these side benefits that aren’t even health-related (and those health-related benefits are nothing to laugh at, too). Happy running!