Not too long ago, I thought that running was for other people, crazy people. Often, I would drive past a regular runner in our town and wonder about his motivation. Why did he leave the comfort of his home to run alongside our narrow roads? Why would anyone purposely choose to run? It boggled my mind!
Fast forward to today. Now, I am that crazy person. I’m the one that is out there running in the cold and in the rain. I’m the one dodging vehicles and listening for dogs or anything else that could potentially cause me harm. Sometimes, while on my runs, I amuse myself by wondering what the people passing me by are thinking. Are they runners? Do they understand? Or, are they more like my former self, perfectly content to remain on the couch at home? Do they share my prior misunderstanding about running?
My running journey began in 2018 while listening to a podcast about runDisney. If you don’t know about runDisney, you should definitely look into it. When I learned that people actually go to Disney World to run, I was amazed. When I learned that even non-runners can use a free training plan to train themselves to run a race, I was intrigued. Could I do it?
Well, I did do it. I followed a plan and began running. Gradually, my fitness level improved and I morphed from a couch potato to a runner. In 2019, I completed the runDisney Star Wars Half-Marathon. It was amazing!
These days my running is not motivated by a trip to Disney World, though I’m hoping to participate in more runDisney events in the future. My reasons for running ultimately stem from the positive changes that I have experienced since I started. Although I’m in my late forties, I feel stronger now and more fit than ever before. Not only has my physical health improved, but my mental health as well. In fact, I find that my mind often feels fuzzy and my mood is low on days that I don’t run or exercise.
Most importantly, I run simply because I can. I never would have thought that this aging widowed mom of two teen boys could begin a new adventure, certainly not one that involved running. However, that is exactly what happened. God led me in a new direction. I consider it a blessing to be able to run and each run is an opportunity to express my thankfulness for that blessing. It truly is a gift and I pray that my running (and writing) inspires others. If I can do it, you can too!
Do you run? What are your reasons for running? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.