Friday, January 9, 2015

Why Running?

The other day I had had a particularly challenging day. I went to work out with my friend that morning and JaiseAnn insisted on being held the entire time. She would only be distracted by toys and food for minimal amounts of time before the tears and crying started up again. And that's how the day continued on. Zach worked later than normal, so when he walked through the door that night, we did a quick changing of the guards and I was off to go for a quick run. 

Running has become something I almost treasure. I only recently realized what an asset it is to me. I work out with my friend every morning, but I have recently started running 3 days a week in addition to it because I need it. . (Two of those times are evenings after Zach gets home). I have come to discover a great power in running. 

Why running? 

For me--and my body and mind--all exercise is not created equal apparently.

mental benefits of running

3 Things Running Does for Me

I Carry My Own Weight
This may seem a little strange to most people, but I personally feel more connected to my body when I'm running. I think it has to do with my body and a pair of shoes being the only things I need in order to break a sweat on a run. I am literally burning calories by pulling and pushing my own weight every second. I feel connected to my body and that is a very powerful thing. When I run regularly, I make better decisions regarding my health and  I feel happier about myself despite no change in size or weight.

I Move Forward
I am a person who lives in her mind. My mind never stops. There is always something going on. Some kind of reflection, memory, problem trying to be solved, daydreaming--something. My head goes a million miles an hour. (I've actually said many times that the best vacation someone could give me would be for me to get to switch brains with Zach for a day--his brain works when it needs to and it's off when it doesn't.) I can't seem to turn my brain off. Which means that on days where I'm sitting on the floor with JaiseAnn or when I'm trying to fold laundry and I'm lost in thought when a little girl starts whining and tugging on my pant legs, I start to feel frustrated an overwhelmed. I don't just need time alone with my thoughts. I need to move forward after thinking them. I need a plan of action. When I am running, my mind is, too. The difference is, I feel like in that half an hour of running time, I am able to move forward in my thinking. I get so much accomplished. I make plans and set goals,  I am able to resolve things that are bothering me, it is also a time of creativity for me--I get some great ideas during my time running.

I Can Push Myself to Do Just a Little More 
The Saturday before Thanksgiving, my mom, brother, Zach, and I ran a turkey trot relay.The relay was eight miles, each person ran the same two mile stretch. I really enjoyed it and it was fun. My mom was very worried about taking too long and frustrating the rest of us. We continually explained to her that we didn't care. She said that she found it odd that I didn't care about beating people or winning as I'm a very competitive person. 

But that's the beauty of running. It is a solo sport. I only compete with myself. I could choose to truly compete with otheres in races, but I don't. Not only do I not have the skill level currently, but I don't have the desire. When we ran that race in December, I had one goal: to not stop. I didn't care how long it took, but I wasn't going to slow to a walk. It was a personal goal and I felt incredibly satisfied and accomplished when I was done. And that's how it is. As I've tried to build back up my stamina and endurance after having JaiseAnn, I continually push myself. Just a little more. Make it one more stretch, to that sign, to that tree, etc. And there's nothing more gratifying than pushing yourself like that mentally and physically as you meet and exceed each goal. 

What about you? What is your favorite form of exercise and why?

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