Running is literally one of my favorite things to do. My day does not feel complete unless I get in a run of some sort. I have not always felt this way, however. I ran my very first 5k in 2006 with my dad. I hated every minute of it. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life. I said I would never do that again. Seven years later in 2013, I joined the cross country team. I could not run a mile without stopping and crying. I was so miserable, but I did not want to give up.

For some odd reason, I only wanted to get better at this sport. I then decided to join the track team later that year. Two years later in February of 2015, I ran my first half marathon at the age of fourteen. Nine months later, I ran my first marathon. I was only fifteen. I was not able to legally drive a car, yet I completed a full marathon.

Two years later, I completed another marathon. So by the time I graduated high school, I had trained for and completed two full marathons and a half marathon. I have come to love running in these short six years. I find it to be "fun" in a way. You might be asking yourself, "what kind of freak would run for fun?". I do get asked that a lot and I have yet to be able to find an answer to it.

There are so many reasons as to why I love this activity. Love might be too strong of a word to describe how I feel about it. I love it, but at the same time, I hate it. I think all runners can relate to that feeling. I could go on and on as to why I love running. There are more reasons to love it than to hate. I have narrowed it down to five major reasons why I love to run.

1. For my physical health.

I feel as though this reason is a bit of a cliche. Running truly is the reason I am in the shape I am in. I am by no means a "Runner's World" magazine model, but if I did not run every day, there is no telling what kind of shape I am in. Plus, it is way cheaper than a gym membership.

2. For my mental health.

When I have reached my stress limit, I always go for a run. There is something about going out and blowing my heart out of my chest that just erases everything off my mind. After I finishing running, I tend to feel so much better about whatever it was I was stressing over. Running is great for "me time".

3. For adventure.

You can literally run anywhere. You decide on your destination. You can either run on a trail, in the city or on a track. I personally enjoyed running outside and making it up as I go. When I first started college, I had no idea where any of the buildings I had classes were. I laced up my tennis shoes and ran all over campus. Fortunately for me, I now know my way around my huge university.

4. For meeting new people. 

Thanks to cross country and track in high school, I met so many people it's actually insane for me to think about. You really get to know someone when you both are standing on the start line dreading the race that is about to begin. You also develop close relationships with your teammates who also run long distance with you. The bonds grow strong and the friendships grow evens stronger.

5. For fun.

Any runner I think can relate when I say running is fun. We can say we hate it all we want, but deep down we really love it. Whats not to love? It improves your mood, and you feel so much satisfaction afterward. I have so many fun memories from running. Those memories do not include competitions or races, but simply just from fun runs either by myself or with friends. I highly recommend going for a fun run if you are ever looking to make memories and to simply have a good time.