Run to think. Run to reflect. Run to celebrate. Run to commune. Run to heal. Run to grieve. Run to honor. Run to rebuild. Run to breathe. Run to run. There are so many reasons why we run aside from just building a stronger cardiovascular system and stronger muscles.
One of the best things that I have gained from running is membership in the running community — this amazing, incredible community of people from all over the world. These are people I consider family in many ways, many of whom I have never met. They support me and lift me up. They constantly remind me why I continue to lace up my shoes and head out the door to run.
Recently, I turned to this community and asked them why they run. I was blown away by the responses…
“I started running to lose the last of the baby weight. I had always hated it and only did it because I knew it was a means to an end that worked. This time around, it hit a chord. In a life that I often felt was out of my control with very little opportunity to just focus on myself, running gave me both.” – Meg Yonts
“I run to move my body and still my mind at the same time.” – Galit Breen
“I run for the wide range of feelings it gives me – strength, power, freedom, vulnerability, possibility, calm, happiness. Without it, I go crazy!” – Angela Bekkala
“Running gave me healing time with the loss of my brother and father to cancer! I can sing off key and get away with it!” – Kris Olsen
“I run to make myself a stronger person. Running allows me to set goals for myself and work hard to achieve them. It has given me self-discipline, patience, and confidence, but most of all it allows me to just be free.” – Megan Lee
“Running is my outlet and my time to challenge myself to be better than yesterday. Running gives me strength to tackle challenges in all other area of my life.” – Karen Poole
“Running teaches you how to keep moving forward, especially in the most painful moments. Life can be difficult and uncomfortable. Running helps us realize that it’s just discomfort. You learn how to hang on.” – Lisa McClellan
“To shake all the random thoughts in my head into place, to savor time alone, to pump feel good juice through my body, and to occasionally, often accidentally, build friendship.” – Heather
“I started running as a way to stay sane in this crazy ride called life. I keep running because I love being part of the awesome and supportive community.” – Lora
“It allows me to escape all my mom and wife duties for the day and focus on me. It’s a part of me that I’ve been able to carry through into new roles, like being a mom and helps me be a better, kinder, more patient person.” – Nicole Culver
“Running is the only time I feel completely focused. I constantly feel distracted with all the electronics and things I have calling my attention nowadays, but when I run, I can just concentrate on that one task and get the job (jog?) done!” – Angela
“I run because every step I take I prove I’m stronger than my self-doubt. I never thought I could run but I prove myself wrong every day!” – Erin Fairchild
“I run for chocolate and endorphins.” – Coco
A year ago, after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the running community came together to support each other and most importantly, to run together in solidarity. We have an opportunity to do that again.
The Boston Athletic Association, the organizers of the Boston Marathon, is inviting people from around the world to run your own Boston Marathon – the first ever Boston Marathon World Run. Pledge to run or walk any distance and complete that distance any time leading up to April 21. It could be one run or multiple runs.
So, why do you run?