A lot of people have asked me why I run. They said that it is a tedious activity and that it is better to sleep in rather than wake up in the wee hours of the morning just to run. They said that I would only get injured. They said that it is useless because I would just eat the calories back. Etcetera, etcetera. To be honest, I do not know why I run either. I do not have a particular reason why but let me tell you what I get from running.
Well, first, I can eat whatever I want because of running. Yes, whatever I want in moderate servings because too much of anything is bad. But you get the drift. Of course, I still maintain a healthy diet by eating three complete meals a day with just the right amount of carbs and lots of protein, and by avoiding fast food, junk food, and soda. Once a week, I give myself a break by eating whatever I want. Like that slice of cake that I’ve craved a whole week for.
Running keeps my health in check. A lot of old people regret that they did not live a healthy lifestyle when they were younger and I don’t want that to happen to me when the time comes. Running improves cardiovascular health and it even reduces the risk of cancer.
Running gives me time to think. While I enjoy running with friends or with my running team, I always treasure those times that I go on solo long distance runs. It is during those times that I got to contemplate with whatever is going on with my life. There are so many distractions around us and whenever I run, I feel as if those distractions do not exist. It’s just me, my feet, and the road, and that’s when my mind does its most productive thinking. Whenever I am faced with a dilemma, I simply run. It helps me clear my head so I can make a sound decision.
Running takes away my stress. People deal with stress in so many different ways. Some eat their heart (and feelings) out. Some seek the company of their friends. Some people pamper themselves. Some engage in other sports or go to the gym. While I do all of the things I’ve mentioned, my favorite stress-buster, still, is running. It’s cheaper than retail therapy a.k.a. shopping (which I also love, btw).
Whenever I run, I feel unstoppable. I feel as if I can do anything that I set my mind into. When I first started, I could not even finish a 3k without feeling out of breath. Back then, I thought that marathons were the hardest thing ever and I never imagined myself running, let alone finishing one. Now I have finished two. I just had to put my heart and mind into it, and trained as hard as I can. Sheer will and determination got me through those marathons. Running taught me that the only limit to what I can do are the limits that I set for myself.
Lastly, running makes me happy. Whenever I’m running, it’s like I’m in my happy place. There were days when I would feel down in the dumps, and the only thing that can cure it is a good run. I can’t quite explain it but there is something about pounding the roads and hitting the pavement that make me happy. I guess there’s also a scientific explanation for that. Quoting Elle Woods: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” But whatever.
I’ve read somewhere that running is a perfect metaphor for life, in the sense that you get out of it what you put in it. But I disagree. Because of all that I’ve written here, I think that running gives me sooo much more. Except for the health part, there's no scientific research to back this all up. Again, this is just me. This is all based on my personal experience, what with my two years in running. If you want to know what I mean, then I suggest you try it too. There’s nothing to lose (except for pounds :P) and so much more to gain. :)