That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why the heck would I do this to myself

Why I run:
  • I love to be outside.
  • I love to feel fast. In my mind, if I'm moving faster than I do when I'm walking, I'm fast.
  • When something is stressing me out, sometimes running is the only way to get it off my mind. When I'm running, I'm incapable of stressing about anything except running.
  • It's a very quick way to get the satisfaction and the high that comes from setting goals and achieving them. Any time I run farther than I've run before, whether it's 1 mile or .1 mile, that's an achievement. Every second off my fastest time for any given distance is an achievement. Not falling on my face (yes, I have) is an achievement. Finishing a run better than I felt when I started is an achievement.
  • Non-runners tend to be amazed by runners. Sure, there are a lot of runners out there. There are also a lot of people who would swear they're near death after running a mile. It's fun to do something that not everyone can do (although most people, barring injury, could become runners. Hint hint.) Probably part of the reason people run crazy distances - because they can. And not everyone can.
  • Runners are supportive of each other. For such an individual sport, the camaraderie is fantastic. Granted, I'm not sure it's that way out in front where people are competing for first. I've seen examples of people being crappy to slower people (maybe I'll blog about that later). But by and large, in the middle of the pack where I live, people are out to achieve their own goals and they embrace the fact that others are doing the same thing. Even in a race, when I'm running in a huge group of people, I feel like we have the same goal. It's not to beat each other, it's to get to the end. Every time I see someone out running, the runner in me says, "Aww yeah. That's right."
  • Because I'm 30 pounds lighter than I was just over a year ago.
  • Because my cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart rate are lower than they've been in a long time.
  • Because it's pretty much a guaranteed cure for any funky mood I happen to find myself in.
  • Because it uses every muscle in my body. Don't think you use your abs to run? Start doing some ab workouts (yoga is fantastic) and see what happens to your speed and how you feel when you run. (I know, I'm still slow...but not nearly as slow. Haha!)
  • Because you can race, regardless of your skill level. If you're not one of the really fast people, there's zero pressure to win. That silly "it's not whether you win or lose" cliche actually is true for most runners.
  • Because I want to someday be one of those 70-something year olds who still runs.
  • Because you never know when you'll have to chase someone or be chased. Be prepared!
  • Because I swear I can think more clearly after a run.
  • Because the endorphins do all kinds of amazing things to your brain chemistry. Look it up!
  • Because I totally can!

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