I run because I love my body and I’m amazed with what it can do.
Running has made me aware of my strength, both physical and mental. But more than that, it has made me tremendously grateful for the body I have.
Truth be told, I used to be at war with my body, particularly from 8th-9th grade. Nothing was ever “right” and I wanted to change many aspects of my body. “If only I had her boobs and abs, everything would be better…” It wasn’t until I began running that I started paying less attention to other people’s bodies and more attention to my own.
My mindset quickly changed from envying others to appreciating myself. Thoughts like “hey, my legs just ran X miles without stopping” dominated over “I wish I looked like that girl in a bathing suit.” I realized how silly it was to covet someone else’s body when I had my own, strong, amazing one right with me.
Once I recognized how great my body was, I wanted to treat it better. I made sure I ate enough food to sustain long runs and I listened when my body was craving rest. Gone were the days of spaced out meals and no snacks…I knew my body needed more (and proper) fuel.
Many miles later, I’m still so proud of my body. Regardless of distance or speed, every time I lace up my shoes and head out the door I become even more aware of my body’s capabilities. I remember what I overcame to get to today: internal battles such as self-loathing and depression as well as external hurdles such as moving across the country and meeting new friends.
Running brings me a sense of satisfaction that no one can take away from me. I may not run every day, but every day I am thankful I have the strength to run.
Why do YOU run?
How are you celebrating National Running Day?