I’m a runner. I’ve been running for a few years now. Most of the time, it was painful. I was training for a marathon in the middle of winter. Before I could leave the house, I had to put on 10 pounds of coats and liners so I wouldn’t freeze to death. I’d take a couple puffs from my inhaler so that my exercise-induced asthma wouldn’t make me pass out. After wandering around the house finding excuses to linger, I’d finally step outside into the cold. Every run, I would wish that I would fall down and injure myself so that I wouldn’t have to take another step.
Then I got a stress reaction in my foot and wasn’t allowed to run for two months. In fact, I couldn’t even walk normally because I had to wear a huge medical boot on my foot for the first month. Being injured isn’t as great as I thought it would be. I hadn’t realized before how much I loved running. Not being able to run made me appreciate it more. Now that I am finally running again, I have decided to compile a list of reasons why I love running.
1. Running gives me time to think.
Sometimes the world seems a little loud and overwhelming. When I’m out on a jog, I can be by myself, and the silence is nice. I’ve done some of my best thinking while on the road, whether I was trying to sort out an important problem, or just come up with a story plot.
2. Running gives me awesome muscles.
When I first noticed that I could actually see the lines of my calf muscles, it made me so happy. I normally wear full-length jeans, but with my calves looking so presentable, I started rolling up my jeans to just under my knee more often. Other activities were easier too. There is a new-found endurance that comes with physical strength. Being strong feels really nice.
3. Running gives me confidence.
When I get back to the house after a 12 mile run, along with the feelings of aching muscles and sore lungs is pride. I feel like I can accomplish anything (after I catch my breath). Being able to tell people about my distances is pretty great too. Just a little bit of bragging won’t kill anyone.
4. Running makes me feel less guilty about dessert.
A bowl of ice cream is nothing after a huge run. Obviously, I can’t just eat as much as I want, but I definitely feel more free to enjoy treats every once in a while. And curiously, since I started running, I’ve found I don’t crave sugar as much as I used to do.
I’m finally getting back into running after my injury. I ran 2 miles yesterday, and though my legs burned, I enjoyed every minute of it. I encourage every one of you reading this to conquer your fears and run. Start off small, and work up your distances. It may hurt a little at first, but the rewards are completely worth it. Your life will change. In the words of our favorite Time Lord the Doctor, “Basically, run!”