I plug my headphones in, make sure my pants are in their comfortable position, check my shoes to see if they’re laced up, and hit “start run” on my running app. This is my go to routine each time I hit the sidewalk for a nice light run/jog. This is my time to escape all thoughts that involve others and school. It is my time to think to myself. Running is a 100 times shorter version of what life is. It might start quick, get a little slower, you might have to go up some hills, check out the view and run back down again, but the end result will be worth it.
My Junior year of high school I joined the cross country team. I was the oldest person on the junior varsity team which mostly consisted of freshman and I was also the slowest. I joined in hopes of getting faster so I could make the varsity soccer team. Cross country meant 6am practices and meets on saturdays. It also meant mile repeats, and sprints. I pretty much gave up any free time I had in order to run in the mornings and do other extra curriculars in the afternoon. It was worth it though because I did eventually make it onto the varsity soccer team, but I also found a love for something that would stay with me forever.
Now that I am in college, if I am able to go for a run outside 2-3 days out of the week I am lucky. Mostly I run inside on a treadmill with my notes in front of me. Even then it is still rewarding. When time allows between classes, studying, and research, 30 minutes outside to take in fresh air and not have to think about anything other than the run, is a great way to clear my head.
This past weekend I ran a 5K with some friends of mine who are in my major. They are both avid runners who can run 8-11 miles a day if they’re in the mood. We all agreed that we would take it slow and relax. This 5K was supposed to be fun, not a race or competition, and we also said we would walk some it. At the end of the 5K we had run the whole thing and got a time of 30 minutes. For me this was a great accomplishment because I have only run 1.5 miles in the past three months, and never at a ten minute a mile pace. The three of us laughed and conversed the whole time, and to me the 5K brought us all together. We were motivating each other to go farther and to not give up. We also cheered on others that we knew to finish through. The 5K proved to me that running can bring you together and prove that anything is possible if you have the right people supporting you.So, no matter how fast or slow you are, if you go out and run for only 10 minutes, it will be worth it. Stress shouldn’t overtake your life and we need to treat our bodies right during the life we live in them. Running is the best medicine for any day and any time, and any situation, whether it be stress, anxiety, or you feel like you need to do something different. It will bring you together with others and make you feel better overall. Go run!