Yesterday I was meeting with a few friends over breakfast, and the subject of health and running came up. They felt like running and being healthy was a waste of time, and that you should instead just ‘enjoy life’. The point being was that running and begin healthy is not enjoyable, that some people agonize over their diet and fitness plan, and they do not enjoy life. They went on to say that these same people try to push their health agenda onto those around them and make you feel guilty if you are not healthy and fit.
While I do not agree with most of their points, the conversation did allow me to step back and think about the reasons that I run. I have written about the health benefits of running and practical benefits of running before, but I thought to myself “Why Do I Run?”. If you are a seasoned or even a new runner, you may be thinking the same question. I decided that one of the main reasons that I run is truly because it does help keep me in good shape, and in reasonable fitness. I have always tried to stay in decent shape, and so it is just a part of my life. In addition, I also like setting and meeting goals, which gives me something to aim for. For example, I am planning to run a marathon this year, and I have been trying to build my mileage up over time.
These benefits of running are great, though the conversation made me ask a little deeper question: “Do I enjoy running, or do I do it out of obligation?”. The reality is that it is a probably a combination of both things. I do enjoy running, but I can be a bit obsessive about it as well. I must admit that if I go more than a day without running, or exercising, that I start to feel ‘weird’ and out of sorts. I also feel a bit guilty about it for some reason. This is probably not a healthy aspect of my running, and I need to get a handle on that. I do need to enjoy life, and not let running become more important than other aspects of life.
So, although I can become a bit obsessive and selfish about my running, overall it is a good hobby and sport to do. I just need to make sure that the balance of running and life is maintained. But in the end, running is not just something I do to gain some health benefits. I do run is because it is a hobby of sorts, and I do enjoy it. I enjoy the time to listen to podcasts, music, and to think. I enjoy exploring new areas when I go out of town. I run to spend time with friends, and I run to keep my energy level up. And I do enjoy meeting running goals and staying in good shape. I run because I enjoy it and I run because I am a runner.
I have many positive reasons to run, and I plan to keep running for a long time to come. I may run less and I may run more over the years, but I intend to keep running.
What do You Think?
Let me know why You Run!
Think about the reasons that you run. Do you just do it out of obligation, or do you enjoy it?