I've heard lots of reasons as to why different people run. Some run to win medals, like the Spanish team who protests so they can receive a bronze medal for a fourth place finish at Euros-but I won't get into my feelings on this here. Others run for fun, to be social, to lose weight, or to collect finishers medals and t-shirts. Many run out of compulsion or obligation (i.e. parental pressure or scholarship dollars), and yet others have some deep philosophical reason as to why they run.
So, why do I run? I've struggled with this thought for a few years. Am I running towards something? Am I running away from something? Isn't running away generally seen as cowardly? I'm no coward, so I must be running after something, but what is it? I really struggled with these thoughts shortly after I completed my collegiate running career where I watched my teammates capture our school's first conference title while I was injured. I now had no races on the horizon, and I was just running because it's what I knew. I loved it in college, because I got to run with my teammates, talk about life (and nonsense!), but now I was alone in a city where my friends don't run with me, and I wasn't enjoying it at all. I ran because it's an identity I had created for myself and had some sort of obligation to hold to it.
And then I heard a podcast or read a blog, where the speaker/writer said they felt free when they ran. I'm sorry I have no idea who I stole this idea from, but their idea resonated with me big time. I don't have ro run. Running is an opportunity I have to get out and be like a little kid. I get to wear bright little clothes, run though parks, jump off ledges, and run through sprinklers. I've always felt a little robbed of some childhood experiences, and here's a chance to get them back a few decades later.
Funny thing is that once I embraced this mentality, I began to have this urge to run races again-and be competitive again. My training picked up a bit and I started running faster. I'm now following a training plan, and I 'm still thrilled to have the opportunity to run. This is wild for me, because by the end of college I hated racing. I loved going to practice with my buddies and working hard, but racing was filled with pressure, and, frankly, I wasn't very competitive at that level.
Turns out that running is simply an avenue for me to put being a "grown-up" on pause for a while to go out and play.
Why do you run?
Teammates and I shortly after getting our school logo tattooed on us