10 Reasons Why We Run
Despite the hip injuries, shin splints, callouses and bad tan lines, we runners are dedicated to the art. We may curse ourselves for it as we take those first steps out the door but in the end we’re slaves to the pavement.
1. To escape
Running is the greatest and cheapest method of therapy you will ever find. All the stress of work, relationships, and school fade further into the background with each progressive step. Is there anything better than leaving the emails and phone calls behind for a little you time?
2. The community
There is little that makes me happier than passing a stranger jogging on the bike trail and giving each other a slight head nod or wave. In that second, we are connected by the bond of our self-motivation, struggle and triumph. It’s a silent, congratulatory pat on the back.
3. The endorphins
This one is pretty straight forward. I spend half the run waiting for it to end and once its over, I feel like I’m ready to go another five miles. After a good run, you’re on top of the world.
Running teaches you to always keep moving forward, even when it feels like you can’t take another step. Since I started running, I’ve grown more confident in all areas of my life. Ignoring the burning sweat in your eyes, the ever-growing weight of your exhausted quadriceps and the stinging ache in your shin takes tapping into determination you never knew existed.
5. To be aware
As much as running is an escape, it also brings you back to earth. As Persig explains in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you see the world in a new way when you take away the glass that separates you from your surroundings. Eight miles makes for a lot of opportunities to appreciate the beauty in the world.
6. It makes us patient
Most runners can attest to the fact that success and change take time. Building endurance and stamina takes weeks of patient progress. We begin to appreciate the tiny victories and this carries over into other aspects of our life.
7. The gear
There is no denying the cool quarter-length shirts and an excuse to buy expensive neon shoes are a major perk to running. How can you possibly complete a race if your feet aren’t fit to maximum comfort?
8. The carbohydrates
We all know running shouldn’t be an excuse to eat more, but it does give us a pretty good reason to indulge in our favorite food group from time to time. You’ll need a bagel to sustain your energy during the race and then of course you earned the doughnut/smoothie/beer/chocolate milk/pick-your-carb-poison that awaits you at the finish line.
9. To be a part of something bigger
It can be a powerful feeling standing at the starting line of a race, next to hundreds of other people who woke at the crack of dawn to support a good cause. It is by no means required but most runners have signed up for a benefit race and know how inspiring it is to be standing shoulder to shoulder with a stranger in the cold or rain or heat to run for a better world.
10. To call ourselves runners
Everyone has their own guidelines for what constitutes “a runner.” Whether it’s the amount of races you’ve completed or the number of miles you’ve racked up, you know if you are a runner. There is something oddly fulfilling about being a runner. You can’t help but be proud of yourself.
Did I forget something? Tell us why you run.