Here are my top 10 reasons for why I run (in no particular order):
- For Physical Fitness: It goes without saying that running improves my cardio fitness. It is good for my body and that is an obvious plus. I originally picked up running in my college years to shed a few pounds and get more fit. I would be lying if I said that didn't matter to me anymore.
- For Stress Release: I tend to be a worrier. I know it does me no good to worry so much and yes, through running, I am able to process through those worries quicker. Perhaps the increased blood flow during my runs helps push those worries through my body and out. Perhaps the run just makes me realize what is more important in life. Perhaps the run just makes me feel good with those amazing endorphins.
- To honor God: I believe we are each given a gift in life and we honor God by using our gift to the best we can. I am not the fastest runner. I do not run the longest either. A gift doesn't necessarily equate to always coming in first. A gift is something you are given. God gave me the ability to run. He blesses me with the ability to run every day. That is my gift. To not run would be to ignore the gift given to me. I won't do that.
- To remember my Dad: My dad lost his life to leukemia on March 31, 2010. As much as I know he is in a more peaceful place now I still miss him immensely. I always will and that will never change. But I also know he is always with me and I can feel his presence greater during my runs. At times I honestly feel I can hear him telling me to "go kiddo" and what can be better than that?
- To be a better Mom: Yes, running makes me a better mom and that is a huge reason why I lace up my shoes each and every day. Not only am I setting a good example for my daughter to incorporate physical fitness in her life, I am finding my peace so I can be a more patient understanding mom. I am finding my strength and discovering nothing is impossible. And it is working. Saturday I mentioned my stomach was a bit uneasy. Darling daughter told me I was still going to go to the gym and run. She was right. Yesterday when I was still feeling a bit off I still got on the treadmill and ran before taking my daughter to school. After my 4 miles I stepped off and she looked up to me and said the best thing ever. She told me she was moving my clothespin up to excellent since I still did my exercise today. She gets it.
- To find myself: Without running I would not be the person I am today. Years ago I was insecure, quiet, doubtful. Through running both the easy and hard runs I am discovering myself. The limits I thought existed don't. I am stronger than I gave myself credit for in the past. The barriers that I still set for myself may be wrong as well. I need to keep pushing at those barriers to truly see how far I can go. And now I can sit here today and tell the world, I am a runner. I can stand up and speak my mind. I can take those chances and that is important. My blog post the other day on hydration vests is one example of me taking a chance I wouldn't have done years ago.
- To be part of something BIGGER: Running can be a solitary act, especially for me. I have no complaints about that since I do try to meditate and reflect upon life in some of my runs but not all of them. But humans aren't meant to be solitary. We never have been. We never should be. We have always congregated into communities to live better and fuller lives. I like that. I love being part of the running community. I love being part of the blogging community. And I love participating in HBBC at Run to the Finish. You can join me too as it is just about to start again this year. If you sign up please let Amanda know I sent you!
- To promote fitness: I would be lying if I said I didn't strive to encourage others to get up and get active. I truly believe in the importance of physical activity to live a longer and happier life. And just the other day I received a lovely email from a dear friend who told me I am making a difference in his life, motivating him to be active and push himself. That is an awesome feeling! It made me cry and I still feel touched.
- For my mental health: It went undiagnosed for a long time but I did suffer from some
- For fun: I am in training mode a good chunk of the year where I am focused on doing x miles or running at x pace or doing x intervals. With all this focus it is important to remember that although I may be working very hard to achieve a goal, running is still my fun time. I can only achieve all the other benefits of running if I keep that one element at the core of my running. Never stop having fun!
Daily Affirmation: I am a runner.