Running off the Crazy

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I am often asked why I run when there are other forms of exercise that are more effective for building muscle and keeping your body fit. Here is the simple answer – I run because it is the most effective form of therapy that I know. I was never a runner until a few years ago. Prior to that, I was pretty active and focused most of my working out on strength training and high intensity interval training. While I was in good shape, I did not enjoy it. I felt like I had to force myself to complete each workout and what is the fun in that. I actually started running out of frustration. Frustration because I did not enjoy working out. Frustration because I never had any time to myself. Frustration that my life was full of chaos. Frustration that my blood pressure was high, despite being at a healthy weight.

When I first started running, I was lucky if I could run down the block without feeling out of breath. I decided to use one of the Couch to 5K programs and it was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Each day, my feet would be pounding the pavements but my heart and my lungs were pounding right along with them. At the time, I could not see how running could be healthy or even enjoyable. However, I was not going to give up. The thing that I started to enjoy about my running time was that it was my time. There was no one asking to workout with me, no one arguing downstairs, no phones ringing or cell phones buzzing. I found that I enjoyed this time by myself to focus on me, which I had not done since I had kids. That was one of my motivators to continue to train. As I progressed through my training, the running did get easier. Each day I was able to run farther and farther and began to look forward to my runs. If you would have asked me five years ago if I was a runner, I would have laughed in your face. However, today I can confidently say that I am a runner!

Today I look forward to my morning runs. Yes, there are days where I sometimes wish I were still in bed but once I get through the first mile, I am glad that I pushed through. The thing that I enjoy the most about running is my time to think and connect with my soul. My run time is typically my thinking time or as I like to call it, my therapy session. I am not going to sugar coat it, life is crazy right now and I don’t have a lot of time where I am able to clear my mind. I like to start my run by letting go of all of the negatively, so that I can focus on the positive for the rest of the run. I always have multiple things going on in my life. I work full-time, run a business, raise two busy kids and make almost everything from scratch for our meals. My mind is always working a mile a minute and sometimes I just need to decompress. That is what running allows me to do. Granted, running also helps me stay in shape and has brought my blood pressure down to a healthy range, but that is not why I run. I run because it is a way for me to run the crazy out of my mind and focus on the positive for the rest of the day. I run because it is a lot cheaper than therapy. I run because I like the time away from everyone and everything. I run because it challenges me to become a better person each and everyday. I run because I want to and not because I have to. Since we are all friends, I have to be honest here. I also run because I am a foodie and love to eat. Thankfully I pretty much eat what I want, which is an added bonus to running.

Why do you run?

Until next time, keep being the best version of yourself!

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