Friday, February 5, 2016

Why Do You Run?

We all have our reasons why we starting running. And we all have our reasons why we continue to run. That's not always the same thing. At least it isn't for me. But this post isn't about me (shocking I know). In this post I wanted to share the thoughts of other runners. Some of the runners represented here are people I know very well, people I love and care about, people I've run with and shared life (outside of running) with. Others I met recently and I've had the honor of getting to know them in brief but meaningful encounters. And a few I don't know all that well but will hopefully get to know a lot better soon.

The fact that I could ask this question and get a response without (much) hesitation speaks to a very basic truth about this sport: we all speak the same language. No one thought my question was ridiculous (or rather, they didn't tell me that) and they understood what I was asking. And more importantly many of them understood why I was asking.

I asked a very important question that I believe forms the essence of who we are as runners. Not only who we are now, but who we were when we started on this journey. Most people recognized that what got them started is different from what keeps them going. Sometimes the difference was negligible, but for most running transformed their life. They became different people throughout the process of running miles and miles and more miles. Some achieved the goal they set out to achieve when they started; some exceeded that goal; & some discovered that there was no "goal", just the unending journey and gratifying pursuit of an ever-changing dream.

The Question:
{what got you started & what keeps you going}

TaC"I started running because it was a good way to manage stress. Now I run because it feels damn good and I'm addicted" 

Pkayesam"I run to clear my mind... (it's) therapy. I use the time to mull over things"

D.C"I run because I never thought I could. I started running to get healthy. I keep running because I love the feeling... running is very special to me"

P.C"Freedom... freedom from all that shackles me, freedom from every influence that says I can't or I shouldn't"

D.D"To share an activity that my husband and friends love"

J@PiM"I've always liked to run since college. I started as a way to lose weight but fell in love with the endorphins high. I've gotten the best ideas while running; and it has made me appreciate the outdoors"

N.S"I run because it's what keeps me motivated in life. When I cross the finish line, it's an accomplishment of my heart"

A.W"Because after all these years I needed to do something other than sit on my butt, which I had done for far too long... I enjoy running and the running crowd, with their different body shapes and fitness levels but having the same desire to be out there doing something healthy for themselves"

S.G: "I run because it reminds me that I am blessed"

C.Y: "When I run I can think... or not think... depending on what I need at that moment"

G.G: "I run because people keep saying it's supposed to feel good; and maybe one day it will..."

D.A.D: "Because I like it. Some days I love it. (It's) time for me and my thoughts to catch up... I like to know that at 4am I'm not alone in the world of crazy going outside to be with my thoughts"

H.L: "When I've gotten that feeling...that energized feeling... the pretty much transformed my mind body and soul... Why would I stop?"

D.M: "I run so I can keep rediscovering myself"

H.S: "Running clears my mind and leaves me feeling like a better version of myself"

K.C: "Running is interesting and most people don't do it because they think it's too much work; but challenges are fun!"

N.K: "I run because I want to prove to myself that it can be done, it means I can do anything! When I'm done I always feel invincible. I cannot be stopped"

B.P: "I run because it strengthens my mind, body and soul"

J.M: "I started running for the health benefits but within a couple of months it also was for the friends I made while running. The laughs while running, the groan of agony when you realize you have to run back to your car, and having someone beside you while you're doing it"

Let me just say that I know amazing people! For some of the responses I had to post the "Readers Digest" version because once you get a runner talking about running it's hard to get them to just say one sentence :)  I was truly humbled, honored, and overjoyed by some of the responses I got, and some of the ensuing stories and conversations that followed. 

I've shared my own story about why I started running before. But why I continue has changed (and continues to change)...
"I run because in the midst of life's insanity running keeps me sane. In the midst of vast emptiness running makes me whole. And in the midst of profound sadness running brings me joy. I run because I can, when everything in life seems to tell me I can't". 

I am grateful for every day I'm able to run and every opportunity and person that has entered, re-entered, or stayed in my life as a result of this sport. To every runner mentioned here (and all the ones I reached out to but just weren't able to respond in time for me to post this)... Thank you.

Share your answers: Why do you run?   Why did you start?   Why do you continue?


  1. I really started to lose weight/get in shape not realizing how addicting it would become. I fell in love with running and have never looked back.

    1. Awesome! How many years has it been since you started running?

  2. I run to keep in shape. But, I continue to run because it's a blessing. I run to challenge myself and hopefully inspire others in the process. My running friends also make all the difference for me. So, it's a lot of things rolled into one! :)

    1. Nice Shannon!!! Running with friends makes a huge difference to me also!


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