Why I Run

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June 4 is National Running Day. I think I started running (outside of the mandatory school mile that was basically sanctioned torture) almost twenty years ago, in my late teens.

I ran on a treadmill, I ran a few miles on the street, sometimes both in the same day. It was so long ago, I would drive the route in a car to find out how far it was. Running was one of my weight-loss strategies. To some extent it is/was also a maintenance strategy, and it’s more or less successful. The “less” is because I get so much hungrier when I do longer distances and still struggle with eating in the best way for myself.

About four years ago I joined a running group with a volunteer focus and it changed my life. The social aspect of that group, in the two major US cities I have volunteered in, is absolutely amazing. The friendships I have made through that group have outlasted most others over time and space. In this career-focused country, and in one of the most career-focused cities … I do not even know what all of those I consider friends do for work. This is rare!

In this group, no one runs alone, so sometimes I need to make it less of a work out and more of a team-support-thing. That has become okay with me. As much as I love yoga, I have never found the community in yoga that I have found in running. I once got in a serious dispute with roommates because they were offhandedly talking about runners being “jerks” after races. What?!

Why do you run?

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