1600 miles a year affords me the ability to enjoy a few more cookies and chocolate than are probably ideal for my health.
But when people ask me why I run, that’s usually pretty far down the list.
I also don’t start by talking about how great it is for my heart or my legs, though both would be profoundly true and excellent benefits. What I start with is something that answers the age old question “how do you stay motivated?”
Running clears the cobwebs
Do you ever feel like you just need a moment to think? This is my favorite part about taking a long run, I can disconnect from the Internet, the phone and all of my to do lists. I can spend some time thinking through what really matters and I come home feeling more centered.
Running sparks creativity
If I had a dollar for every runner who has told me they’ve come up with game-changing ideas while running, well I’d invest in them and be a millionaire. In fact, when I return home I often find myself dripping sweat all over my keyboard as I try to capture ideas before they dissolve into the business of the day.
Running gives you a community
New runners, long time runners, speedsters and self-proclaimed turtles are all embraced in running circles. We don’t care what your goals are as long as you show up, runners support each other. This is evident in the charities that are supported through races each weekend, but often less recognized in the daily high fives that come from group runs and even virtual friends.
Running makes you strong
There are moments in life that are hard, uncomfortable and downright miserable. Running reminds you that you can face them all by just taking one step at a time and focusing only on the current moment. I can’t run the next mile until I’ve finished this one and I can’t get to the finish line without embracing a little discomfort.
After all those reasons, I’m also still happy running means enjoying holiday treats without guilt and knowing that each day I’m doing something to improve my health and quality of life.