why i run

After running in a race this past weekend and with the pending doom of the St. George Marathon just weeks away, I've been asked by many of you, and thus been asking myself, "Why do I run?" My soul searching has lead me to the following conclusions, which I am now publishing in this short essay.

(BEWARE: My answers are Cheesy, but True!)

Why I Run
by Brittany Jones

Because I Can! This is the biggest reason that I run. There have been times in my life (all three pregnancies) that I have not been able to do any physical activity. I've been laid up on bed rest and unable to use my body. Those times have been miserable. During those times, I've promised myself that when I am able to use my body again, I will make sure that I am using my body and not taking it for granted.

There are many people that are not able to run. People who are limited by physical disabilities. One of those people, is my Mom. She has MS and can barely walk, let alone run, but everyday she uses her body to its full capacity. Every step she takes is hard work, but she does it with ease and never complains. I run for her. I run because she can't, but I can. I want to use my body to it's full capacity. I want to see how far I can push my body and do it as long as I CAN! I do it because there may come a time when I am limited by my own physical capacities and I won't be able to run anymore, but until that time I will keep on running.

It makes me Happy! I often refer to running as my anti-depressant. When I don't exercise I start getting really ornery, irritable, mean and unhappy. I have to exercise to feel good about myself; to be happy.

Building Friendships. I have made so many good friends because of running. I started running over 6 years ago with one of my neighbors, who I would now consider a lifelong friend. We spent many early morning hours talking and running. We built a strong friendship that also started the foundation for my love of running. We both moved and have barely kept in touch, but she will be one of my dearest friends forever. After moving, I made new running friends, who have also become lifelong friends. I have been able to build amazing friendships from my countless hours of running with friends. My running partners have come and gone and changed over the years, but I have a bond with each one of them that will never change. I've also met many people that I wouldn't have met in any other context. I've run with perfect strangers who quickly became good friends. I have met so many amazing people because of running.

Sense of Accomplishment. This past year I have loved the sense of accomplishment I feel after running. I just finished my 4th race in the past 4 months and I'm amazed at the overwhelming accomplishment that I feel at the end. I've set small goals for myself with each race. It's incredible what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Self Improvement. After running four races, it's been a fun challenge to work on improving myself each time. My first race I ran in 2:08, my second race I finished in 1:59 and this last race I ran in 1:53. I never thought that I could run a half marathon, break 2 hours or run under a 9 minute mile, but now I've done all three. I've learned that self improvement is possible if we are willing to try.

I love Being Outdoors. My favorite place to run is outside. I love to run in the early morning hours when the sun is rising or at night when the sun is setting. I love to breathe in the air. I love looking at the world around me and appreciating the amazing beauty. I love to see other people running, walking or riding bikes. I love to see my neighbors who smile and wave. I love to watch people playing in their yards, doing yardwork or driving here and there. I love soaking it all in and watching the world carry on as I run by.

Weight control. Okay, let's be honest. This has moved way done to the bottom of my list, but I have to exercise to keep my weight under control. I love to eat, which means that I need a way to burn calories. I'm happy to report that this was probably one of my top priorities when I started running, but now it is the last on this list.

It's Fun! Because of all the reasons stated above running is fun. I have plenty of times when I dread running and when running is sooo not fun, but luckily on those days I remember one of the above mentioned reasons why I run and I can get through that run. And when I finish, usually, I always concur that it was fun.

I Enjoy it...and that, my friends, is why I run!


Jenn said...

I love your reasons.. I have said a few of them, but in the end my ashtma kicks my butt and I hate running when I cannot breath. But I am happy for you and I love that you keep beating your time records. You are insiration to me that I can work up to it(maybe not marathon, but just running and enjoying it).

Andi said...

It must be an emotional day because both of your posts made me get a bit teary!! Good for you to run that much. I do not like running long distances. But reading your post makes me want to do my dance workout again!! Maybe I will have the energy in a few weeks to do it!

Patty said...

It's neat to know WHY you run! Awesome, they all inspired me. (I don't even think about running anymore, but in my dreams I'm always running (wierd)!) Heh, thanks for the post, it inspires me to live to my fullest potential! Glad that YOU do!

Anonymous said...

So cool...thanks for sharing. Love it! Thanks for the shout out on the SS blog - you crack me up. Thanks!

Reeses Pieces said...

I love this post. I appreciate it even more now that I've read your Mom's comments. She truely is amazing. I've never met such a positive woman. When you word it that way it makes me want to hop right up and start running. It's crazy what we take for grantid.

Gie Bergmill said...

Britt - you made me cry.