For as long as I can remember I have been involved in sports. I started running and competing in track and field in high school and was lucky enough to compete as a Division I collegiate track and field athlete as well. So running has been a part of my life for a very long time. I would frequently get asked questions like, “why do you run? How is that fun for you?” My relationship with running has changed significantly since graduating college and embarking in life as a twenty something millennial woman.
It has gone through several changes, each one with it’s own set of challenges and adjustments that needed to be made. What started out as a hobby turned into a means to pay for a college education which came with it’s own set of pressures and responsibilities. Then an injury that occurred shortly before my senior year season forced me to discover life without running for about a year and a half. When I was finally able to run again, I realized that my days of sprinting and hurdling were over and I began to transition to long distance running. I have now been on the long distance running train for about five years now. I will be quite honest in that some weeks are more consistent than others. But hey we are all human!
“Why do you run?!”
Again, I find that the questions from both old and new friends remain the same. “Why do you run?” I always laugh and respond with a short sarcastic answer. Most people hate running and are baffled that someone could possibly do this as a past time or a means of “fun.” The truth is that my answer at this time in my life is very different from the answer you would have received six or seven years ago, and it probably will change again ten years from now. So I will tell you this.
I run to prove how strong I am to myself.
I run to escape the responsibilities and hassles of real life and have some “me” time.
I run as a way to unwind after long mentally and physically taxing shifts.
I run because it makes my body stronger and as a way to stay healthy.
I run as a means to cope with the death and the dying that can overwhelming as a nurse.
I run because I like how it pushes me to be better.
Running gives me a sense of peace of mind and I like who I am way more when I am consistently running week after week than when I’m not. I feel more centered and productive. Everyone has that one thing that makes them feel at peace with themselves. It might not be pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion, but everyone has their thing! We deal with stress in many ways.
What is yours? I’d love to hear them!