Never in a million years did I think that I would enjoy running. The thought of exerting energy that I would have rather used for sedentary activities seemed mind-boggling. However, this Global Running Day, I can proudly say that I love to run.
When I was growing up, I was definitely not the athletic type.
I hated PE, I was awkward. and I didn’t have much of an athletic edge. While I certainly got my steps in during the day, my exercise regimen wasn’t keeping me in shape.
However, I first developed a love for running 2 years ago when some friends of mine wanted to do a Glow 5k. At first, I was hesitant because I didn’t think that I would be able to run 3.1 miles. However, I proudly completed the course and experienced my first “runner’s high.” My enthusiasm and desire to continue running was all thanks to the friends who rooted for me along the way.
Over the course of the past two years, I’ve run a total of 69.74 miles (112.24km).
That’s a lot of mileage, especially for a person who only recently took up running!
Each time that I step onto on a course, I remember that I’m running for a cause, which inspires me to keep going. For instance, when I ran Wings for Life, a world run that benefits individuals with spinal cord injuries, I saw many wheelchair users blowing by me on the course, which helped me realize that I need to eliminate the words “I can’t” from my vocabulary. Whatever the cause for a particular run, on race day, I always receive reminders of who I’m supporting, which pushes me even further.
Of course, though, I also love running for all the shiny, one-of-a-kind medals that I earn after my races. They’re my own badges of honor, and they remind me of how strong my body and mind is. I’m proud to display them in my home and share the stories behind each and every accolade.
Additionally, I’ve discovered that running unites people from all different backgrounds, which is one of the many reasons that it’s my passion. Recently, I went on a trip with some buddies to support a friend who was running a half marathon. Standing at the finish line and cheering on the runners in a crowd of strangers from all over the country reminded me that even though we’re all from different places and have different life circumstances, running has the power to bring us all together.
Watching complete strangers cheer for my friend motivated me to keep running as a way to connect with others.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned runner, you too can experience the many benefits that running brings. Even if you doubt that you’ll enjoy running, give it a try – the sense of completion you’ll feel after your first race will leave you grinning.