I love running. People ask why I do it. I answer “because it’s good for the health.” But staying healthy is a very general reason that rarely motivates people. So I sat down and wrote down what are the specific situations wherein I want to or have to run. Here they are.
I run when…
- …I am feeling out of sorts. I did have this feeling this morning, a feeling one sometimes cannot explain. My first instinct was to crawl back into bed as soon as the kids walked out the door. Instead, I forced myself to put on my running shoes and go running. The funny feeling did not completely go away but it didn’t worsen either.
- …I am having sleeping problems. Suffering from insomnia? Before you reach for that bottle of sleeping pills, try a short run. The fresh air and the physical exertion can help you get a good night’s rest.
- …I need “me time.” As a mom of twin boys, wife to a busy husband and a freelance writer, there is nothing much in between in terms of time for myself. Except when I go running. Out there in the fields and the forests, it’s just me and my running shoes, my pumping heart, and my labored breathing. And for a short time, I can forget my family and responsibilities and concentrate on ME!
- ……I am feeling stressed. Everybody knows it. Physical exercise helps burn off all those stress hormones!
- …I want to burn calories. There were a couple of parties last weekend and I did eat a lot and imbibed some alcohol. That was definitely a calorie-rich weekend. I really needed that jog today and everyday for the rest of the week.
- ……I am experiencing a “mental block.” There is nothing like a jogging run to unblock the mind and blow away the cobwebs in the brain. I go running when I run out of fresh ideas. Once I’m out there, the spring starts to flow again and I come back inspired and creative.
- ……I am feeling sad or depressed. The Canadian singer Alanis Morisette found the best way to fight depression is not by taking any drugs or drinking alcohol but by putting on her sports shoes and going for a run. I do that too when I am feeling down and out. Out there, with my heart pumping and my legs moving, I feel glad and thankful that I am alive and can move. There are others out there who can’t.
- ……I am feeling lazy. You just don’t feel like getting up and going to work in the morning? Everybody feels like that from time to time. There’s nothing like a run to rev you up for the day.
- …I have the sniffles. As long as it’s just a simple cold and nothing worse, a run out there in the open can do wonders in clearing up the nose. I remember when my kids were still little babies. Our pediatrician, just like many doctors in Europe, never prescribed any cold medicine for their sniffles. His advice is always to dress them up warmly and give them some fresh air.
- ……I am feeling great or have something to celebrate. I do not run only to get rid of negative feelings. Sometimes there’s one of those days when I feel I am the greatest. There is nothing like a good run to calm down the excitement without diminishing that great feeling. A birthday, a new project, a happy client, a triumph or milestone to be celebrated. I top it up with a wonderful run with my best speed ever. Run and shout to the world how happy you are!
So what are the reasons why you go running? Share them with us!