If you have been following along my running journey for a little while, you probably know that I’ve had my share of setbacks over the years. Each of these has made me even more grateful for the times when I can run. Unfortunately I have learned that I may do everything right and still have issues pop up. While I am hoping to be on the right track to avoid any future injuries, you just never know when running can be taken away.
Regardless of weather or not you have had to give up running for any amount of time, it’s important to recognize all the things it brings to our lives. When training is tough or motivation is low, it can be helpful to think about why we run and take a moment to give thanks for running.
So, here are 5 reasons why I am grateful for running.
1. Individualized sport
I appreciate that with running, each run is yours alone. Your distance, pace, workout, etc. are all up to you. Sure, you can run with other people, but you don’t have to. 99% of the time, running is my time to be alone and clear my mind. I don’t need to depend on a gym or an instructor or a team. I can truly just run for myself.
2. Running community
If that above statement sounds selfish, I also want to point out that the running community is nothing less than amazing. I don’t think I could have gotten this far with my running if it weren’t for the connections I made with other runners. This sport gives me the flexibility to train on my own and however I want, but I can also connect with other runners as much or as little as I want.
3. Stress relief
The #1 reason that my time off this summer was hard was because I no longer had my go-to way to relieve stress. This summer was a really stressful one at work. It was hard to not have that way to relax and focus before starting the day. Now that I am back to running I feel like I can really manage whatever the day throws at me.
If it weren’t for running, I would probably never be outside (other than in the summer months when I can sit out on the deck or go to the beach on vacation.) There is something rejuvenating about being out in nature, and running gives the opportunity to experience that throughout all the seasons.
5. Daily achievements
Often times as runners we are working towards a goal. This may be a race, hitting a certain distance, or losing weight. However, achievements can be much smaller than that. Each time we got out for a run it’s a new opportunity to achieve something. It can be as small as getting out the door when it’s cold and rainy or powering up a steep hill or running a certain amount of miles without stopping. There are so many ways to recognize achievements with our running each day.
Even during the hardest runs, I try to remember how grateful I am to be able to run. These are just a few of the reasons I am always drawn back to running, but I’m sure there are a million more.
What is one reason that you are thankful for running?
Do you prefer to run alone or with others?