I wasn’t always a runner. Actually I despised running for quite sometime. I was a basketball player, so from the beginning running was used as a form of punishment. When someone missed a layup, wasn’t paying attention, or was on the losing team the consequence was running.
It wasn’t until my sophomore year in high school that I started consistently running outside of practices and conditioning. For the longest time I was running a mile everyday trying to beat the previous day’s time. Then when it got warm, I headed outside and would run to the end of the street and back (one mile) and would run a mile on the track at my high school. Once I started to feel comfortable with that I began running farther and farther, pretty soon my daily run became a 3.5 mile loop around my house.
I run for different reasons now than I did back then. I used to run for basketball; my feelings were mutual towards running. The more I ran, the better shape I would be in, and the longer I could stay out on the court. So when my basketball career came to an end, I guess my relationship with running changed.
The timing was pretty perfect since I was off on new adventures starting my freshmen year of college for the first time being away on my own. Running helped me relieve stress and while I was off on my own running, I could forget about everything and escape into my own little world. Running can be intimidating and there were and still are days that I don’t feel like lacing up my shoes and running, but the thing about running is that it’s going to give you the same feeling time after time- and that is why I will happily admit I have become addicted.
It’s the feeling of satisfaction I feel when I finish a run no matter what the distance. It’s the constant challenge of trying to be better than I was yesterday. Running doesn’t judge you, there are is no “right” or “wrong” way. Running is what you make it to be; it could be a form of stress release, a social thing, a competitive sport, or maybe it’s all of these combined. That’s what I think is so great about the sport! Running is different for everyone and everyone has their own experiences with it.
My experience with running has been incredible and I have accomplished things I never even considered until I had a positive relationship with the sport. I have a couple 5ks and two half-marathons under my belt now with plans of completing 26.2 miles in the fall. Running has become a big part of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
I encourage everyone to give running a try, no matter what the distance or time because I think the experiences are very valuable. If you have tried and “failed” before, don’t be afraid to try again! That’s the great thing about running, no matter how many times you give up on it, it never gives up on you.