I started running because it was easy. Let me clarify this. I didn’t start because the running itself was easy; it was not. I huffed and I puffed and I couldn’t even blow any houses down! Or run for more than a few minutes. No, that is not what I mean. What I am talking about is the fact that to run you only need a pair of gym shoes. That’s easy, right?
I started running because you can do it anywhere. This was helpful to me while I was in London, and in Africa and in New Orleans. I didn’t need a gym membership. I didn’t need a friend. All I needed was a road or a path or a trail. And that same pair of shoes.
Something that began as an easy way to get around and a cheap way to get a bit of exercise became so much more. Now when I travel, I find out where the best place is to run. This has been a new and exciting way to see cities like New York and Seattle in ways that I would not have seen them before. Sometimes I find a fun race to run. This has been a way to get a new take on cities like DC and Kansas City. I feel more like a local when I travel, because instead of trying to go to the Statue of Liberty, I get to see her from every angle while running along the Hudson.
It has taught me how to eat. Before, I would try to cut out certain foods because I knew they were high in calories and “that’s bad”. Running has made me want to eat healthier. I don’t crave high fat foods; I don’t crave alcohol. I know that by eating them, I will not have as great of a run the next day, so I don’t even want them very often anymore. When I do eat them now, they are a treat and are usually consumed in moderation. I have fun making new recipes and eating things that that fuel my body and cause me to feel better, not worse.
It has taught me about strength. I am strong. Every day I get affirmation of this as I run faster, farther and challenge myself to run on hills and trails and through bad weather. It has given me control and taught me how to better set goals. I feel good; I feel accomplished. By giving myself new mile posts and reaching them each week or month or year, I feel good about myself.
I found out that running is not easy. I found this out the hard way, but there is no other way. You have to put in the work to realize that running is hard, but it is completely worth it.