High school put us in a box. I graduated with about 500 other students, so I guess my four corners were pretty big. By senior year, we thought that we had such control of our personality and destiny because of the seemingly vast experiences we had. However, we often forgot that we grew up beside these people, with few to none new faces. Everyone had their 'thing', whether it was sports, band, arts, or just being really academically gifted, everyone had a safe spot. A confined box of personality traits that were associated with their passion. I am not trying to put high school down in any way, I loved high school. I am more spectating how cool it was to have easily found a category that came with an identity. Because when you get to college, the box becomes spherical, a.k.a. the whole world is yours.
I remember during primary recruitment in middle August of my freshman year, I was asked what my passions were. And since I was months out of high school, I instinctively answered the question by talking about my love for soccer and memories from cross country. Obviously, I could not answer this for the rest of my life since the older I got, the farther away from my glory days I was. Luckily my dad had shown me that I could go on runs without having to chase a ball or being on a team. Every morning during freshman year, I got up and explored on foot. That routine carried over to sophomore year and I was excited to find three other women in my house that had a burning itch to go for a run.
I am constantly asked why I run or how I do it. And honestly, I do not run for physical health reasons. Yes, I want my heart to be stronger and I hope to live a long healthy life, but I do not train for running yearly races, or to increase my speed, or to decrease my time. Being a health nut is far from my vocabulary and I have lots of things to prove it. Chicken tenders are my favorite food and I can eat chips and salsa like they are the main course at Mexican restaurants (feel free to fact check that with literally anyone!) Running is my new safe spot. People often say that I am crazy for going on daily runs, but I think that running keeps the crazy away. My mental health is pretty strong and I attribute that to running. Something about the combination of fresh air and sweating it out makes my problems not feel so big. For me, going on runs are catalysts for idea generating, solutions to mentally solving any problems, space from living in a house with 60 women (love you all so much), and my personal favorite: endorphins.
People always comment on how they would never run every single day or that running is not for them or that they cannot understand why I like to run. I know that they are just making conversation and not intentionally putting me down, however, sometimes I feel like I have to defend myself. So I have thought about it and have come to a conclusion. Running cures all my bad moods and reduces my anxious mind. Concentrating on productivity, being a kinder human, and having an abundance of patience is all because of a little vitamin D and a lot of salty sweat. I am so fortunate to have found a recipe that is so simple to help me get on top of my life and destress from the hectic day. I genuinely hope that everyone finds the formula to keep away their gray days, and if anyone is inspired to go for a short jog after reading this, come find me and I probably already have my running shoes on.