Careful morning preparation (a banana, a strong cup of coffee, gloves, and layers) lead to a ready-to-go-attitude. That is, until I open the door and am hit with a cold shot of wind. Frost on the ground, seeing my breath as I finally exhale, and fingers still cold even through my gloves can only mean one thing: fall is long gone. Although it might not be full-blown winter here in Calgary, it sure isn’t fall anymore, and my desire to keep up with running outside through the winter just got a whole lot more real – and hard!
But when it comes to exercise, especially exercising outdoors away from the distractions of life and warmth of the house or gym, no one ever regrets spending the time to do it. That’s exactly what it took to remind myself this morning that once I got back from my run, I would be glad I did it. And so, out the door in the cold I went.
My run got me thinking this morning about why I love to be runner. After not warming up most of the run and thinking about my slumbering husband back at home under the covers, why I kept going at my turn-off spot and added an extra 2.5 miles to my route. About why I came home from church in the warm sunshine several hours later and wanted to do it again. Why do I love being a runner?
- It’s time when I can think, pray, let my mind wander, focus on my breathing and movement, or simply be blank. I love this aspect of running – sometimes my head is spinning and other times it is quiet. It’s a great chance for me to reflect, recharge, and relax – ironically enough!
- Running keeps me humble. I mean, I’m scared to get a pedicure (anyone whose seen my feet can vouch for why I’m nervous to get pampered!). 😉 On a more serious note, some runs are a breeze and others feel like I’m moving through wet cement and nothing clicks – but there’s something beautiful about that; it parallels the ups and downs and life.
- I learn so much from running, especially from the hard moments. Dean Karnazes, Ultrarunner and author, said that “Pain and suffering are often the catalysts for life’s most profound lessons.” True, and enough said there.
- For a small fee, I can enter races and step up my game a bit – or just have a great time in a fun atmosphere accomplishing a goal!
- Running allows me to de-stress. After the first few steps out the door, I’m already in a better place and my mind feels clearer, less clouded by first reactions and emotions.
- I can run anywhere – and so can you! – with only a pair of shoes (or Vibrams). This is a great activity for built-in exercise because you can travel and not need a gym membership. It’s also a great way to see a new city or to explore new terrain.
- I can experience the different seasons in a unique way – out in the elements, feeling the cool, crisp air of Fall or the heat of early morning summer runs. I’m challenged to keep running on snowy trails and roads and feel fresh and new when I see the buds appearing in the spring on the trees that were previously blank. I love running through the seasons.
- The feeling of finishing a run is such an accomplishment, and I love feeling tired, drained, exhausted, and spent after a long, hard run, or feeling full of energy and wide-awake after a shorter, high-spirited run.
Those are just a few reasons why I love being a runner. Is it always easy and pure enjoyable? Heck no! But is it always worth it? Definitely. I’m grateful for a body that can move, for a body that is healthy, for a body that can feel accomplished getting 8 fast miles under my belt as well as enjoying the scenery while trotting along for 3 miles. What about you? Why do you love to run? If you’re not a runner, Why do you love to move? What’s your favorite form of activity?
Live well and be well friends, and remember, it’s a great day to be a runner! Enjoy some movement today, whatever that looks like, and have a good one.