If you’re a runner, you have inevitably been asked, “Why do you run?” There are a number of reasons to run: fitness, fun, calorie counteraction, just to name a few.
I read an article earlier this week about this very topic and so I stopped to ask myself: Why do I run?
Like most things in this world, it’s a little complicated. I’d like to say now, in my mid-twenties, I have a healthy love-hate relationship with running. But that was never the case growing up. In fact, until I was 24 running was the bane of my existence. In school, I avoided sports that involved a lot of running. In fact, I quit playing basketball after seventh grade because I hated the drills. Too much running for this girl.
So instead, I danced, did cheer and was quite content with most of my activities revolving around writing and volunteer work. Then college happened.
I didn’t drink a lot or eat a bunch of crappy food, but I could tell that my hormones and metabolism were changing drastically. I was tired and sluggish and knew I needed to up my activity. I started going to spinning classes at the gym and became a fitness instructor my last two years at the student rec center. But I still found myself easily out of breath and completely exhausted after working out.
What was my deal? Why couldn’t I do simple workouts and keep up with my friends?
It was at this time in my life that I discovered I had some health issues. Sparing you all the details, my situation caused me to have pretty severe anemia. My red blood cells had actually shrunk in size and weren’t carrying oxygen to my lungs and brain effectively. No wonder running sucked so bad, right?
An iron transfusion and a ton of supplements later, Kyle convinced me to try running again. I started going to Fleet Feet’s running group, completed my first 5K, 12K and half marathon within a year. Flash forward two years later, and here I am with a number of smaller races and three half marathons under my belt.
I never thought that I would mutter these words, but I’m a runner.
So let’s get back to my main point – Why do I run? Because I can. To be outside and see my beautiful city in a different way. To quote my friend Nick, “Because I’ll get fat if I don’t!”
I run for all those reasons and so many more. I wanted to know why those around me run too. Coeur d’Alene is really cool in that our running community is pretty tight. Even if you’re not an elite athlete, you’re welcomed with open arms and everyone smiles and waves at each other. It’s fantastic. So I reached out to that community on Facebook and was pretty blown away with how many responses I got. Here are the awesome comments I received:
Next time you’re out for a run, I challenge you to think about why you’re doing it. There’s no wrong answer – just think about it and appreciate the fact that you can.
Thanks to everyone who helped me with this post, not only for your words, but for your inspiration and encouragement along the way.