There are many stereotypes that come to mind when one says “I’m a runner.” People who don’t run automatically assume you’re crazy, you eat like a bird, or you’re overly conscious of your health. Athletes of other sports assume it’s boring, tedious, and not competitive enough. If you run competitively, you know running is the ultimate test of your mental strength and will power. With each mile or meter, your mind tries to convince you that you can’t go any further and your job is to prove that you can. This is why I run competitively, not because I’m insanely fast or naturally good at running. Just running a mile around your neighborhood can do more than you ever thought. Here are some reasons why you should start running if you don’t already.
1) Overall Mental Health! When you run, it releases chemicals in the body that naturally make you happier :). Plus, there’s the fact that after your run you will be so proud of yourself that your self-esteem will raise substantially. If your dealing with tons of stress form work or school, going on a run clears your mind and puts things into perspective. It can be your daily therapy.
2) Get in Touch With Nature! Running is a great way to appreciate a beautiful day. There are tons of beautiful forest preserves in Illinois with great running trails and bike paths. The Naperville area is surrounded with great paths to run, just do a little Googling. Running is great in all seasons, even winter. Running in the rain can be one of the most fun, refreshing exercises there is. It’s a way to get off your electronic devices and focus on the simpler, more beautiful things in life.
3) Meet Awesome People! Most people are correct when they say runners are nuts. We are. But in the best possible way :). The people and teams I have run with are some of the most hilarious, nicest, non-judgmental people I have ever met. If you run with someone, you automatically have a special bond with them. Your sharing sweat, blood, and tears. Struggling through a run is so much easier when you know someone is there going through the same exact thing.
4) Get Healthier! I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really difficult to start running. The hardest part is putting on your shoes and stepping out the door. The running part really isn’t so bad. Once you start running you’ll see results quickly. Your legs will be toner, you’ll be less tired walking up those stairs, and you’ll naturally feel better knowing you’ve run that day. Running has also been known to strengthen your immune system. The biggest benefit is that you can eat more without feeling as guilty :).
5) Greater Self-esteem! Once you start setting goals for yourself for running and accomplishing those goals, you’ll gain confidence in yourself. This confidence can translate to other things in your life. I often find myself saying things like “If you just ran in -20 degree windchills, you can do this Orgo exam.” Running makes you tougher mentally and physically, so you’ll have few reasons not to feel awesome.
Maybe running is definitely not for you and maybe running could become your favorite thing in the world, but you never know until you try :).