Today is National Running Day. How great is it that there’s a whole day devoted to this amazing sport? While all sports have wonderful aspects to them, I do think there’s something uniquely special about running. There’s a camaraderie that comes with running that I haven’t typically seen in other sports. All people who run gather together as friends, not competitors. You can be slow or fast, fat or thin and everyone is in the same boat together. There is so much encouragement and advice, it really is a communal sport despite the fact you run alone.
I am very grateful to running for changing my life. I started running as a bet against my doctor that I would be able to do a marathon despite the reconstructive foot surgery I had. Initially I didn’t love it. It was a drive I had to succeed and to prove him wrong, but there wasn’t a whole lot of passion with it. I think it was because I was so scared of failing at my marathon quest, I couldn’t take the time to enjoy it. Now that I’ve finished the marathon and done two half marathons, I’m finding myself loving the sport.
I owe a lot to running. It helped me finally bring closure and healing to my car accident. It gave me a confidence I never knew I had. It gave me so much confidence that for the first time in my life, I was able to ask for a raise and promotion at work and actually get it. It is helping me now as I deal with my boyfriend’s 8 month deployment and the pain of missing him. I know part of the reason I am getting through that pain is because of running. It is an outlet for me to get my emotions out.
I really think running can cure a lot of life’s little problems. Things we think are so big and insurmountable really aren’t, and if we all get the experience of running and the joy of the runner’s high, somehow they seem smaller. I think the mental health benefits of running far outweigh the physical, though those are great as well.
Today is a day to celebrate this wonderful sport. If you’ve been a runner, be sure to run today and give thanks for the activity that gets you through a tough day. If you’ve never run before but have always wanted to, today is the day to start. Go for a light jog, do a run/walk combination, just get moving and get outside on the pavement. It will be painful and difficult at first, but keep at it and soon you will see what all the fuss is about.
Happy National Running Day!