I understand that not everyone thinks “joy” when they hear the word “running”. My earliest recorded attempt to “go for a run” was motivated by the state of being in love. Eager to impress my new boyfriend I cheerfully donned my shorts and shoes and headed out into the sunshine at his side. Less than five minutes later I was a red-faced, spluttering mess. I toddled home leaving him to enjoy a solitary run. Although I can now run with the same man, now my husband, I can still recall vividly the sense of “I can’t do this”. Why was the act of putting one foot in front of another so difficult? Surely running is one of the most natural things we do.
Running is completely natural. Soon after we learn to walk, we run. Young kids seldom walk calmly. They run, propelling themselves forward in a rush to enjoy whatever the world offers. By the time we are adults we have slowed down and rarely run unless trying to catch a bus. So, why run?
Running brings freedom: perhaps recalling childhood when we ran down hills just for the fun of it. When I run I feel free, alone in the woods with a choice of paths to take. I can decide exactly where to go, or even to get little bit lost. Even if this is only for an hour or so, I come back feeling more open and relaxed.
With the sense of freedom comes joy and calm. The time spent outdoors, whatever the weather, creates mental space bringing calm. Running releases endorphins which make you feel good. While vacuuming can do the same thing, running is my preferred option.
Running is about exploring new places and discovering new people. I love finding new routes, enjoying the changes the seasons bring to familiar places and making new friends through running. Runners are open and down to earth. It is a back to basics sport, so keen runners tend to be straightforward and willing to share their experiences and trails with you.
With so many rewards, why not run?