It’s always good to remember exactly why you decided you love an exercise. After my break–unintended although it was–from running, I gave some thought to why I enjoy it. I was disconcerted to realize that while I could go as far, it was more difficult and slower. Thinking about why I was out there helped me get through those runs as I rebuilt my stamina.
These are the things I came up with (in no particular order):
exhilaration: the simple feel of my body working in harmony, the rhythmic landing of my feet on the road, the fresh air, the clearing of my head as I run. These are things I can’t get anywhere else. And make me feel sooooo good afterwards.
the outdoors: you might have noticed from my other posts that I love Mother Nature. Well, I love the scenery; the tricks with the weather she plays I am not so fond of. I can spin many a moment out during my runs by looking at the clouds, or that perfect tree, or the many ponds I run by. Fall is my favorite season, but all seasons have their charm: snowy landscapes with mysterious shapes, bright lime green of new leaves in the spring, bright flowers in the summer. I guess it is amazing I don’t trip more often!
weight loss: the reason I started running regularly was I discovered that running is the most effective way for me to lose weight. Years of aerobics and walking did not have the same results. I used to think my metabolism was slow, but at some point I realized that it must in fact be highly effective. I eat A LOT. And I have a hard time sticking to a diet, there always seems to be a good reason why I can break it and do better tomorrow. Running helps me keep weight off even when I do bad.
satisfaction: oh, the power that comes when a difficult hill suddenly isn’t. When you beat your best mile by 30 seconds. When your long run becomes your short run. When the race you trained and trained for was easy, and so much fun! All these things build to a satisfaction that is hard to beat.
pushing myself: my competitive side loves running. I try not to compare myself to others, because everyone is in a different place in our journey. Butwhen I see American Ninjas who train extensively to do such difficult feats, I feel the least I can do is a slightly better mile or one more rep. When my nephew runs 16 miles on a treadmill, I feel the least I can do is get out and run–not 16 miles, but a good run 🙂 Those help with my motivation. I am even more competitive with myself. I need to continue to improve. I am not satisfied with the same pace and races year after year, so I am always looking for something new to push myself with. It spills over into other parts of my life too, and I find I push myself harder in all the things I do.
i’m impatient: another reason I graduated to running from walking is that it takes so. dang. long. to get anywhere. As I am always in a hurry to get to the next place, whether I am working or driving, running seemed to be a natural fit!