Running… You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great
I have never been an athlete. I’ve tried to play just about everything that was offered to me throughout my childhood, but I was never any good at anything, really. In middle school, my gym teacher urged me to run track after we ran the timed mile, but I was playing (bench warming) softball at the time and wasn’t willing to make the switch. Same in high school. Like I have said before, it wasn’t until college that I started running. I realized that running was a sport that you didn’t have to have any special skills for. Yes, you need stamina and endurance and discipline…and you know, be able to breath pretty well…and I had all those things! Running is something that you can make your own. You start at your own speed and determine your own challenges. You can do it the same way every time, or completely different every time. You can do it anywhere! And you don’t need much in the way of equipment to participate. You can do it alone, you can do it with others! You make your own rules!
For me, running is just as much for my mental health as it is for my physical health. Yes, my body feels better when I run. But so does my mind! As little as 30 minutes of running can completely change my mood. You can do it anywhere! And you don’t need much in the way of equipment to participate. You can do it alone, you can do it with others! I can leave my house mad, sad, frustrated etc etc…and 95% of the time I come back home in a better mood. I am an outdoor runner, unless the weather is not cooperating (I run outside right through our New England winters…you will only find me on the treadmill in heavy rain or icy road conditions). The posted picture is showing the view from my front yard, where I stretch and recover after completing my runs. This view fills my heart with gratitude for the life I live. I tend to appreciate it the most after I’m done running and I’ve just had time to clear my head of chaos and had time to think with just myself.
There are proven health benefits too. Women who regularly engage in intense workouts like running can reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 30 percent. Runners have a leg up against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and running has been shown to lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol and boost immunity to colds and other viruses. And not only do runners remain active longer than their sedentary counterparts, they actually live longer. As an impact exercise, running helps build the muscle that lower-impact workouts don’t, keeping bones healthier even as they age. This is only the beginning of the list of benefits of running. If those don’t grab at you, remember this…running is one of the best ways to scorch the most calories in the least amount of time!
I feel like more and more people are running these days. Or maybe it’s just my age. Moms trying to get their pre-baby bodies back, desperate for a little time to themselves. Women, men and even children signing up for a road race that benefits a cause close to their heart. Whatever the reason, it’s great to see more people giving it a try and not just cringing when they see someone running and proclaiming that they don’t know how people can do that. I am here to tell you that anyone can do it! Even if you can only start out a minute at a time. The worst thing you can do is write it off before you even try. You may be a runner and not even know it!