Why Do You Run?
It’s December, which means the new year is right around the corner, and a new crop of folks will list “start running” as their resolution for the new year. As with so many resolutions, the odds are stacked against them as time/work/motivation/family/time/work (yes, purposefully listed twice!) get in the way. Ultimately, I’ve realized that the motivation, desire, and will to not just start running, but keep running takes a bit more than simply writing it down on a piece of paper or announcing it on Facebook (although peer pressure can be a powerful tool!).
In the short time that I have been running, one of the things I enjoy the most about the sport is meeting and engaging with other runners and listening to their stories. Perhaps it’s the former Residence Hall Director in me that loves connecting with people on that level. I’m constantly amazing by what I learn about people while we are running, whether I’ve met them for the first time during a race, or I’ve known them for years. Running brings to the surface a whole new crop of thoughts and running together with someone seems to make being a bit vulnerable somehow ok. I’m sure you’ve had plenty of interesting and at times very personal conversations with folks while out on a run as well. I simply love getting back from a run, and having that “huh!” moment as the gravity of what I learned sinks in. People run for a lot of different reasons, and those reasons change over time.
The beauty of such a simple sport is that you don’t need to be a professional athlete, and you don’t need to be on a noble mission or part of a larger organization in order to decide to participate. We talk about competing during races, placing in our age groups, or challenging our friends, but ultimately we are simply there to compete against ourselves (and perhaps the clock). Although I wish I had the speed and ability of Ryan Hall, I’m still quite satisfied and proud of my own accomplishments.
I started running as a stress reliever, and a way to shake off some pretty heavy things going on in my life. In the process, I found friendship, and grew to love it for how it made me feel and the opportunities it presented me with every time I leave the house. Now, I run because of love and addiction. That may change tomorrow, and that’s ok.
So, I toss the question to you- why do you run?