Some of my favorite things in life come by the dozen. Long-stemmed roses. Cupcakes. Beer. (12 ounces per bottle, 12 bottles per case!)
In honor of today’s date being 12-12-12, I’d like to present a dozen reasons why I love running:
#1 – I am not good at it.
Some people are naturally good runners. My name is NOT on that list. It was a real struggle just to get through my first 5K. But somehow I felt a glimmer of hope that I could improve, and I kept at it. Running provides an endless array of challenges, and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.
#2 – It makes my body happy.
I have more energy and endurance now than I ever have before. I sleep better at night. And my pants are looser.
#3 – It makes my brain happy.
There’s nothing like a good run to press your brain’s reset button. Whether it’s mulling over an issue and coming up with a solution, or just taking a mental break to enjoy the scenery, my head always feels clearer when I’m finished.
#4 – It gets me out of the house.
I work from home and take care of two small children. If I can squeeze in a little time to myself, in the fresh air, while getting a great workout, I’ll take it.
#5 – It’s good for my family.
Ok, I just said that I liked running to get AWAY from my family, so how does it HELP them? Running is my stress relief, so I spend less time being cranky at home. (You know what they say, “If Mama ain’t happy …”) It also sets a good example for my children and shows them that exercise can be fun. My husband and I work toward our own race goals, and every once in a while, we actually get to run TOGETHER.
#6 – I love food.
I know, I know, running is not a green light to eat whatever you want. Trust me, that’s a lesson I learned the hard way! But it does torch a large amount of calories, which gives me a little more leeway in my daily calorie budget. If I’m exercising on a regular basis, it tends to keep me from wanting to throw my hard work down the drain by eating junk. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy a good pre-race carb fest?
#7 – Races are fun.
You get to hang out with a bunch of people who are just as crazy as you … maybe crazier. You get to stop traffic as you run right in the middle of the street. And you get a cool T-shirt to wear, so that you can
show off in front of non-runners remember you accomplishment. What’s not to love?
#8 – It’s guilt-free way to socialize.
So many of the activities we do with friends seem to involve eating out, drinking, or spending money. But going for a run with your gal-pals costs nothing and actually BURNS calories.
#9 – It’s an excuse to buy shoes.
Seriously, do you really need an explanation for this one?
#10 – It’s an excuse to buy clothes.
It only takes a few runs in a heavy, sweat-soaked, cotton t-shirt to realize that you need decent workout gear. The good news is that running clothes are made of comfy, stretchy fabrics in a wide variety of fun colors and patterns. Keep running and you might even drop a size or two, and have a great reason to buy new clothes for your “regular” wardrobe too.
#11 – It keeps you young.
I have seen some pretty awesome looking ladies (and gentlemen) in the oldest age groups at pretty much every race I’ve ever entered. Many times, they’re turning in faster times than I am. I would love to be that fit in 30 or 40 more years. I’ll keep running, keep applying sunscreen, and hope for the best!
#12 – It’s a springboard to more adventures.
Running was my “gateway drug” leading to biking and swimming. Three years ago, if you would’ve told me that I would be competing in triathlons, I would’ve laughed in your face. I’ve also climbed mountain trails, trekked across a glacier, and completed a muddy obstacle course … all thanks to my newfound fitness.
As I was writing this, I realized how hard it was to limit myself to ONLY twelve things that I love about running. It seems like I discover something new all the time. So maybe we should make it a baker’s dozen instead, and say that I love running because the journey is just as much fun as the finish!
What about the other runners out there … Which of these reasons is your favorite? Do you have a different reason of your own?
The author is a wife, mother, and solidly average “middle of the pack” runner from Northeast Ohio. Check out her new Twitter handle @MileageMama: https://twitter.com/MileageMama