I know what you're thinking, "exercise is anything but meditation", but for me running is therapeutic. Growing up, I always dealt with body image because I was bullied for being "fat." For a really long time, I thought I was the ugliest person on the planet and that finding love was impossible for me. Crazy right? Once I discovered running, it completely changed my life for good. Here are the three reasons why running is my meditation.
It helps clear my thoughts
During high school, I was figuring myself out such as sexuality, friendships, relationships, and my career. In my sophomore year I decided to join cross-country, but at the time my only sole purpose was to lose weight for my quince. Though as the season continued I actually started to like it; I observed how my teammates always came together at the end of a run and always told each other that they did a good job and always spread positivity. My mentality of losing weight completely changed, instead I noticed that when I run all I am focused is finishing strong because it would mean I have accomplished a challenge.
Have more energy throughout the day
Who knew exercising can give you so much energy? First of all, the thought of running for 4.5 miles every single day after school just seemed cruel and absolutely exhausting. Not to say that every run was the best or never tiring. Of course it was!! Yet when I came to realize that after that long, tedious, and exhausting run, I wanted to go out to do some adventurous extravaganza and eat a lot of food. Others will probably just fall asleep, watch Netflix, and possibly regret joining a sport that only consists of running. For me, I started to feel happier, motivated to start the day and not let anything ruin it.
Makes me feel better about myself
I can emphasize on the feeling after running. Dealing with body image my entire life has been the biggest obstacle to overcome. I had friends, counselors, parents, relatives, etc.tell me that loving myself is important. Easier said than done. Running has opened my eyes that I have a beautiful body including its imperfections. Yes I am proud of my belly. Yes I am proud of my double chin. Yes I am proud to eat those 10 pieces of chicken nuggets. YES I AM PROUD OF BEING ME.
To this day, running continues to be my passion and meditation. I have exercised in many other different ways in order to step out of my comfort zone such as the gym, volleyball, and boxing. Running will be forever my one true love and it will never change.