I Challenge You to Run
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Health and Wellness

I Challenge You to Run

Running is my drug and my cure.

I Challenge You to Run

There’s something really special about giving yourself time to run. In that moment, that minute, that hour… it’s just you, the road and the rhythmic, echoing sound of your footsteps on the pavement.

Here’s an honest to God truth. I suck at running. I can’t run a mile before I have to abruptly interrupt my pace for a breather or a stretch to relieve the piecing pain in my side. In other words, compared to other runners, especially long distance ones, I’m a total wimp. But I can’t stop running! I know it sounds insane, why would I want to keep doing something that I’m not even good at and just causes me pain? The simple answer is that there’s more to it than increasing my endurance and being a masochistic weirdo.

I feel free when I run.

I have two strong well-functioning legs! It's a gift! I’m unbound. I don’t have to be stuck in one place, not by chains, by rope, or some authoritarian figure telling me I can't go where I want. I’ve been fortunate enough to never have been in a wheel chair.

I'm just free... to go left, right, up that hill, to the closest park, or go on a three-year, coast-to-coast marathon. My possibilities are endless!

My music drowns out the world.

Keeping a beat by putting on some headphones to your favorite track has actually been proven to help you go harder and longer on any exercise. I'll be the first to admit I turn the volume up too loud on my runs. Because when I go running, I don't want to hear cars, people, my footsteps, nothing. I only want to hear the sound of my favorite band screaming my favorite words into my head while I push myself harder to literally go the extra mile. At the right decibel, I can't even hear my own thoughts, which may be exactly what I need sometimes when the day just doesn't go right.

I can forgive myself for eating that Chipotle burrito… or that pint of Ben and Jerry’s that I ate by myself.

Only in America can you find a burrito worth a thousand calories or ice cream saturated with every artificial form of sugar known to man. What's next, a pizza with cheeseburgers as crusts? Regardless of the ridiculousness, nothing tastes better than heartburn on a bun, because in the end, we're all primed by evolution to seek foods with the highest amount of calories. That's how members of our species thousands of years ago survived and grew stronger. That's an article all on its own, but the point is that our brains make this stuff irresistible.

The time will come when you "accidentally" inhale five Big Macs and feel Fat Albert on a bad day. The solution? Burn some of those empty calories instead of just sitting there questioning your life choices.

Depending on how you're motivated, you can use food as a reward for your run or you can run because of the guilt you have digesting in your gut. Whatever floats your boat!

I can wander, get lost, get found, disappear and reappear at will.

I love to explore. I have found new hideouts just by taking a wrong (but actually right) turn on a new path. The way to know Seattle, or any city, best is by taking it on foot. But more than that, I can indulge my introvert side, and find my alone time far away from all the people in the world that know me and be in a place where they can never find me. I get a little kick out of going off the grid.

I can feel myself getting stronger

When I really start getting into the habit of it, I can finish one mile feeling like I was put on auto-pilot. I think, "I still didn't pick my perfect playlist, did I make it this far already?"

I get runners high after that last do or die sprint… and its seriously the best

There's always a moment on my run. I get to a point where I think "I'm almost done." When that thought comes around it's immediately followed by "I want to finish out strong with a good, hard sprint." I think of it like the climax to my run, the final fanfare, and the test to see where my limit is.

If you don't stop until you're actually in pain (not too much pain, don't kill yourself) you won't feel it.

For me, I feel like my heart is pounding in my head, but I also feel like I'm underwater or like I'm floating. My mind feels clear and calm, and suddenly life around me seems so surreal.

It’s like meditation, sometimes I walk away with a new perspective, thought or idea.

When your mind get's to that level of relaxed and calm, it changes the way you think. That fight you had with your SO or best friend seems so small all of a sudden. A tired brain strips away details and focuses on the main picture. Your problems become small and that mountainous view in front of you becomes entrancing.

I walk away feeling like I added a day to my life.

I really want to be one of those grandmas that bungee jumps when she's like... 98. I want to be able to stand on my own two feet and chase around my grand-kids until I "kick the bucket" (what's the hip, young way to say "dying?") If my step feels lighter in my running days I can only imagine it won;t be so hard staying healthy when I grow older.

Believe it or not I feel like I have MORE energy

I'm sure this depends on more factors then just the run itself. But if I don't exhaust myself, the endorphins kick in and usually make me more motivated to get things done in the day.

I become the Chris Traeger of my friend group.

I annoy the crap out of some of my roommates. When I get back from a good run, I'm ready to take over the world and just be the most annoyingly positive person ever. But it feels great! It's good to reset and look at the glass half full because when life gets you down you have to pick yourself back up to keep going.

Running is my drug and my cure. A lot of people don't get it because it hurts. But I challenge you (yeah, you!) to really push yourself one time. Maybe you've been in college for a few years and you've forgotten what it feels like physically because you haven't played sports in a few years, and that's OK! But pushing yourself becomes rewarding in a lot of different ways besides just running, and practice helps with anything.

Just see what happens!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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