I started running back in 2015 after the birth of my second child, for a couple of reasons. I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, and running seemed to be a fairly inexpensive way to do it. I had a group of girlfriends that had a similar goal, and we decided to run a 5k together. So that’s really how it all began.
But ultimately, I wanted to set a good example for my kids. I wanted to be healthy for them, and to be able to chase after my two little boys as we raised them in North Carolina, which has so many amazing trails and parks that we could take advantage of.
Running has now turned into so much more for me. Here are just a few of the reasons why I run:
My mental sanity: Sometimes I can really clear my head or work out things that are bugging me during a good run. It helps me with stress relief, and has also been a great way to get caught up with friends on their lives or to chat through things we’re experiencing.
How I feel when I’m done! Not all of my runs feel great (in fact, a large majority make me question why I do it, especially in that first couple of miles), but when I hit that runner’s high mid-run or the overall feeling I get when I’m gone with a run… it’s pretty awesome.
It’s a great workout that I can get in almost anywhere. Early mornings, during my lunch break when the weather is cool enough, or even after a long day. Sure, I sometimes have to find how to make it best fit within my schedule, but I usually can prioritize it because of the above two bullet points. And honestly, if I can’t, it may be a way of my body or life just telling me to take a break.
I’m setting an example for my kids. Both my husband and I have taken a much more active and healthier lifestyle since I started this journey. My kids see it. They ask to do races with me, they show me their ‘yoga moves’, and they love helping me practice my teaching routines for both PiYo and strength training. They enjoy (for now) going with us to the gym when we get in our workouts and they play with their gym childcare buddies, several of whom are also classmates.
I’ve made it a way to really experience new places. I’ve found a great way to see a new location is to run it. When I went on a business trip to Montreal, one of my co-workers took me on a running tour of downtown. We were able to see a large amount of the city in the short amount of free time that we had between meetings, work events, etc. If I go on vacation somewhere, I look up local running routes and areas to check out. I’ve seen a lot of various places using this method. And of course, there are our runcations that we have started doing. I’ve gone with both my family and with girlfriends, and it’s been a fun experience going to destination races, national parks, etc, to run with other likeminded individuals.
Speaking of races, I love a good challenge. Picking a race, setting a target (even if it’s just a fun run, but knowing that I have to complete x many miles is challenge enough), and then working towards that goal. I don’t always hit my goals, but I know a lot of them are going to be a work in progress. Running is one of those great activities where depending on what you are measuring, you can measure you progress. Is it speed? Hitting a certain number of miles? There’s an app for that! Well, it’s something you can at least track and monitor. As a person who loves to write lists and even better yet, cross things off of them, running gives me a lot of satisfaction!
And finally, the people that I’ve met in the process. I’m thankful I had the courage to join the Oiselle Volee in North Carolina. It seems silly that it require courage, but I really am pretty introverted and for a long time I doubted my running abilities. Would I be the slowest person? Did everyone know everyone else? The team has been very welcoming and I have been able to meet some wonderful ladies both as part of the local group, and through events such as Big Bird Camp, or at races where I see Volee singlets in the mix.
Why do you run? Share some of your favorite reasons in the comments below.