One’s reasons for running are as varied as the individual. Some people enjoy the camaraderie of the sport and treat it much like a social outing. Some get their kicks from going fast and crushing the competition. Others are on a journey to improved health, mental and physical. No matter the reason, the important thing is that we are all runners, and it is a sport that binds us across states, countries, and continents.
So why do I run? I don’t have a simple answer for that, as it has become more complex as the years have gone by. I began running in February 2009, six years ago, as a way to cope with stress at home and lose baby weight. In that time, I have seen myself grown in ways I never thought possible. I mean, how many people can say they work a full-time job, take care of four kids, run the house as a single parent, and are a five-time marathoner? I’m pretty proud of all of those accomplishments, and they make me the person I am today. Here’s a condensed list of why I run.
- I like the solidarity of the sport but enjoy the support from the running community. I have never much been a team person. I was a cheerleader, and although I know that is a team sport (yes, I did just say it was a sport), I was most concerned with what I was doing. Running is much the same way for me. I thoroughly enjoy hitting the road or treadmill solo. That is my “me time.” That’s not to say that I don’t like other runners. It’s exactly the opposite. I love the support and motivation that runners give one another. It makes me feel that even though I am running on my own, we are all in this together.
- Running will hopefully help me outwit family history. There are some things in our genetic make-up that we can’t control, but I am hoping that running, along with other healthy habits, will help me live a longer, happier life that is free of things such as hypertension, heart disease, and cancer. I have lost family members very near and dear to me due to health conditions that are preventable. I am taking my health and future in my own hands.
- I am setting an example for my children. I want the kiddles to grow up knowing that exercise is an important part of life and a necessity. If they see me being physically active, that will encourage them to do it, also. They don’t necessarily have to run (although I would LOVE that!), but it is important for them to find something that keeps their muscles moving. Thankfully, they all found a sport that they enjoy. And, because I am too excited about this to not share, you can look for all of us at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon 5K the day before the marathon! We will be out in full force. Special shirts may be required. More to follow on this.
- I’m vain and not too proud to admit it. If running is going to help me stay slim, then I will continue to do it. I enjoy being able to say I wear the same size that I wore in high school. Call me a bitch or conceited, but I’m just being honest. Hey, if the jeans still fit…
- Running is a constant challenge, and that’s what I like about it. It’s not to say that it doesn’t get easier, but there is always room for improvement. Right now I am sitting on a 1:58 half marathon PR and a 4:24 marathon PR. Did I work hard to get to those? Hell yes, I did! And I plan on working even harder to beat them. I enjoy seeing my speed and miles increase while my time decreased. I know I will never be the best, but I can be my own personal best.
- RUNNING KEEPS ME SANE! Yes, that sentence totally warranted all caps. I will be the first to admit that I am a hot mess even with running. Take running away and I reach a whole other level of craziness. It’s my outlet, my stress relief, my therapy. I need running. With it, I am a better parent, employee, and girlfriend. And if you think I lack patience now, see me after a few days of not running.
Why do you run?