Why do I run?

Ever since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon just over a week ago, I have been running.

Bryce and I used to run together all the time back in our good ole friendship days. At one point in our training, we ran 5 miles together. Without stopping. Knowing me, that was a pretty major accomplishment.

And now, we’re training to run a marathon together.

And now I’m sitting here thinking, what has become of me?

Ten years ago in eighth grade, I wouldn’t even run the mile for my fitness test. Now, I’m working my body so that in just under a year, I’ll be able to run 26.2 miles. Or run for 3.5 hours.

Seriously. What has become of me? Why am I doing this to myself?

To be honest, I feel amazing after I run. When I finish a workout, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I feel confident when my times go down, or when I run a further distance than I’m used to without stopping to catch my breath. And the release of endorphins is great for helping me manage my anxiety.

But one of the biggest things is the mental workout that comes with running. All of my life, my brain has given up on me before my physical body throws in the towel. My brain tells me I’m more tired than I really am, that I’m weaker than I really am, that I’m not as good as I really am. But when I run the extra mile, lengthen my stride a little more, pick up my pace slightly, it’s like my body is training my brain to realize how strong and capable I really am. Running helps me exercise my mind and train it to know my true self, potential, and talents. It’s like I’m telling myself if I can make that extra mile and get to it a little faster each time, I will be unstoppable in anything.

I run because my mind needs it as much as my body. I run because my mind and body have been so disconnected for so long, and it’s time that they start interacting again.

I run because I find hope for my own growth and health in it.

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