Posted by: hjelen87 | February 18, 2013

Why I Love Running

Black Hills running

I often get the question from non-runners: what do you love so much about running?  And while there is definitely something to the aphorism “If you have to ask, you’ll never understand,” I am going to try to explain it anyway, at least some of it.

Most people don’t pay that much attention to the basic workings of their bodies.  Muscles move when we want them to.  We breathe, our blood pumps.  But runners pay attention to everything.  A sore hip one day could lead to an injured calf the next. Running shows me the complexity of my body, how everything is interrelated. It makes me pay more attention to what my body is trying to tell me.

Running allows me to notice and marvel at what the human body can do.  I love watching my times get faster as I get more in shape, both in workouts and in races.  I love how my resting heart rate slows as my training picks up, and I can feel my heart pumping more blood with each beat.  I love the feel of pushing my body to its limits, seeing just how fast or far it will go.  I love the feeling at the end of a race when I am completely spent, knowing that I left everything I had on the course.

One of the reasons, I think, why people get addicted to running is because you feel like there is no limit to your ability to improve.  You finish one race, and you are already thinking about how you can run faster in the next one.  When we are kids, our parents tell us that if we work hard, we can accomplish anything, but as we get older, we tend to stop believing that.  We limit ourselves, or the world limits us.  I think running makes us believe again-believe that if we work hard, we can do whatever we set our minds to.

And at the same time running shows me the complexity of the inner workings of the human body that many people take for granted, it is also refreshingly simple in a world where everything else seems so complicated.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Breathe in, breathe out.  I love early morning runs when nobody else is around and there is no other sound except the sounds of my footfalls and my breath.  Those times tend to be when I feel closest to God.  No distractions, no technology.  Just me and the road.  It allows me to process, to work out my emotions, to make decisions.

Or sometimes it allows me to not think, to listen, to shut it all out and just go.  Sometimes I think too much, and it is hard for me to shut my mind off.  But if I can just focus on moving my body forward, it is easier to forget about whatever problems I have been dwelling on.  And after the run is over, those problems just seem smaller.  I can’t really explain that one, but after a run, I just feel like I can handle life better.  I think that God speaks to everyone in different ways, and running is one of the main ways He speaks to me.

And then, of course, there is this:

Feels like flying

And who doesn’t want to know what it feels like to fly?!!

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Responses

  1. Amen!

  2. “…if I can just focus on moving my body forward, it is easier to forget about whatever problems I have been dwelling on. And after the run is over, those problems just seem smaller. I can’t really explain that one, but after a run, I just feel like I can handle life better.” YES! Nice post, Heather.


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