The title of this post should explain it all. The sport of running is universal- loved by many on a national and international level. My love for running arose during my freshman year at the University of Florida. While walking around campus I would always see people running for exercise. I must admit that I was slow to join the pace, but after learning about Oprah Winfrey’s first and only marathon in 1994 (she ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:29:20) and P.Diddy’s (aka Puff Daddy, Diddy, Sean Combs, Dirty Money… What the hell is his name these days? ) public documentation of his training and completion of the ING New York Marathon in 2003 (he completed 26.2 miles in 4:14:54) I was determined to be like them! Be like them in the sense that I would begin running, not train for a marathon. So I laced my shoes, put one foot in front of the other, and began logging my miles. During my undergraduate career I ran in many 5K and 10K races around Central Florida. I relished in the feeling (and still do to this day) of registering for a race, and then developing a game plan to successfully complete it! I truly believe this skill has assisted me in all my endeavors in my life.
I believe anyone can consider themself a runner. Although I am not competitively fast, I do. Being a runner is a state of mind not a mile/hour pace! So with that said, I encourage each one of you to give it a try, at any age. In 2010, two of my aunts and two cousins ran their first 5K Turkey Trot! My aunt is also planning to do a Family 5K for her birthday.
All in all, I would have never guessed as an undergraduate that I would enjoy running 13 + miles for fun (I have completed 6 half marathons). Today, I can say running is fun :). I find enjoyment and fulfillment every time I return from an outdoor run.
To conclude, I would like to share my top 5 reasons for running.
1. Healthy Living: Ok, so I must admit that I first began running for the weight loss benefits. Hey! Do not blame me. Society puts a lot of unnecessary pressures on young (and old) women to be thin. But as I have aged, I have grown wiser to the whole body benefits, specifically the cardiovascular benefits to running.
2. Stress Reliever: Whenever I am stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed going for a run seems to relax me. I also believe this is related to reason #3.
3. Thought Processing: Let me tell you, I have written a few papers, solved some difficult math problems, shoot I may be close to solving our nation’s problems just from running. While running my mind is able to escape, process, and solve thought provoking issues.
4. Competition: I am a competitor at heart and running allows me to fill that void. Now that my pageant career is over, what was a girl to do? Running was my pageant replacement!
5. Learning about your Surroundings: Running has afforded me the opportunity of “finding” new things and places in the cities in which I reside and vacation. Just today I learned that Lululemon Athletica opened a storefront on Monroe Street. Uhm, do you know how psyched I was to learn about this grand opening!?! What holiday is approaching? I love gift certificates… Perhaps someone special will gift one to me ;)
For more information about running, please visit http://www.active.com/running/.