Lately I’ve been thinking quite a bit about why I run. Is it for fun? The competition? The thrill of repeatedly pounding my feet against the pavement? Clearly a question this big calls for some soul searching.
I don’t run to win the race. I don’t even run to win my age group.
I don’t run because I feel like I should, and I don’t run because everyone else is doing it. I don’t run because I want people to think of me as a runner, or to admire me for any reason.
I don’t run because I want a bikini body. I don’t run because a celebrity whose figure I envy does it.
I don’t run to be long and lean. I don’t run for toned thighs, a flat tummy, or sexy buns. I don’t run to blast fat, or zap calories. I don’t run because I ate that cookie earlier, and I don’t run because I might eat that cookie later.
I don’t run to look good in my jeans, or in a new dress, or in any other article of clothing.
I don’t run to lose five pounds, or any weight at all.
I run because it makes me feel balanced, free, and less burdened.
I run to have time to myself, so that I can think about whatever I want without any interruption.
I run for the concrete sense of accomplishment.
I run for the rich sense of community, the friendships, and the support that it brings to my life.
I run for the excitement of racing, and the possibility of pushing harder than you thought you could and doing better than before.
I run because it makes me feel strong, powerful, and beautiful. It puts me in touch with my body in a way that nothing else does.
I run because it has saved my life and made my recovery possible. I run to take care of myself. I run because I can.
And finally, I run because it’s fun. I run because I love it.
So, why do I run? That’s why.