Why We Run

April 15, 2014

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.

Christine Yu - Central Park 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.

Join #TeamAthleta for the Boston Marathon World Run. Athleta will donate $1 per mile pledged up to $1,000 to The One Fund.

So, why do you run?

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  • Reply Melissa April 15, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    I run to feel. To feel my legs hitting the pavement, the air burning my lungs, my heart pounding in my chest, and the breeze blowing on my face. It reminds me to be thankful for my life and take joy in these feelings.

  • Reply Tina Muir April 16, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Wow this is wonderful! Love this Christine 🙂 I could not agree more about the running community, and I know you saw that in my post about why running is for YOU. It is such a wonderful support network, and it can make anyone feel welcome. Love the responses here, so special.

    I run for that feeling when you cross the finish line knowing you have achieved your goal, and all that hard work has paid off. I also run for my goal of running for Great Britain, I am so close, and one day I WILL do it.

  • Reply Gail Ramsey April 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Nice story. I run to grieve. Only between the wind and the trail can the true expression of profound loss be felt on my run days. Question: I saw a t-shirt the other day on someone that read: RUN BIG Have you seen it in your travels and can you tell me where I can get it?

  • Reply Christine @ Love, Life, Surf April 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Hi Gail – I haven’t seen that shirt but the sound of it!

  • Reply Stephanie April 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I run to live. I just finished treatment for stage IV head and neck cancer back in Jan. of this year. I had always been active before all of this, but never a runner, as I thought it was hard. Boy, was I wrong. It’s way easier than chemo and radiation. Plus it’s my little FU to cancer.

    My first 5K is May 3. Wish me luck.

  • Reply Christine @ Love, Life, Surf April 19, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Best of luck Stephanie!!

  • Reply Theresa April 27, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I run because it’s the time I’m truly free and away from anything. It recharges me. And I own my run- it’s truly mine, whether I am fast or going far- It’s my accomplishment. There’s nothing like the run on your face and the wind in your hair as you go! And after I good run, I never regret that I went. This is an awesome blog, and I am truly inspired by all of those who posted.

  • Reply Johanna May 5, 2014 at 9:32 am


    When I first began running, it was for the physical benefits. Those are now secondary and just the bonuses of running.

    Now it’s all about the friendships and mental clarity. I love who I am when I run. It’s also the cheapest therapy in town 🙂


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