At the end of March, I read a post on Facebook that was shared by a local race. The gist was an offer of a pair of running shoes, but how they were so much more than that. Running is a gift because it can be anything you want it to be. Hopefully you can still see the post here. It got me thinking about the gifts that running has given me. Truly, it is a gift that can change your life in so many ways.
For me, running has given me friendships all over the country – people who started out as blog, Facebook, or Twitter friends but have turned into In Real Life (IRL) friends that I now travel to see – one of my friends calls us “Blends” because we are Blog-Friends who have blended into IRL friends. I am probably closer now to friends that live 1200 miles away than I am to people I see on a regular basis. It’s funny how technology and a shared love of an activity can make the world a much smaller place.
Running has improved my health. I feel both mentally and physically better when I run – injuries aside. Yes, running also kicks my @$$ but I think the health benefits of a lower blood pressure, a healthier weight, and improved sanity outweigh the aches and pains.
I have a sense of accomplishment when I run. Lately, running has been very hard for me – I was injured for awhile and then I got hit with the flu and was out for weeks. Trying to get my fitness back is frustrating but when I think back to how I felt after I finished my first 5k, my first half marathon, and eventually two marathons – it makes me believe that I really can accomplish anything if I put my mind to it.
Running has brought me closer to my daughter in a very unique way. She is now training for her first half marathon – using a training plan that I created for her. Stepping into that Coach role has filled me with a whole new level of pride for her. She has always been an athlete – competing in gymnastics, diving, and track, but now I’m getting to watch her step way outside her comfort zone and take on something I thought she would never do.
As I thought about how running has changed my life – I wanted to hear how it has changed the lives of others in our Shrinking Jeans family. Here are a few of the thoughts some of the ladies on our Running with the Sisterhood page had when I asked them, “How has running changed your life?” (editor note: Thank you to everyone who contributed to this post)
Kristy said, ” I feel better after running. I’ve built stronger relationships with my running partners. Sometimes a run/therapy session with a friend makes all the difference!” – I’m usually a solo runner but when I do get to gab with a friend the miles seem to go by so much faster.
Lisa added, “I’ve lost weight – and size – and I feel better about me!” – Agreed!
For Andy, she indicated, “Running has made me realize that it is important to focus on myself and not just everyone else.” – We can definitely be better caregivers when we care for ourselves first.
Sarah found running “Gave me a focus, goal, and passion to help cope with my divorce.” – definitely
Mandy said, “Running has shown me things I didn’t know possible. I never knew my body could run, let alone run after having two kids.” – as someone who came to running later in life, I also find this to be true.
One of my favorite responses was from Gidget, who said, “My desire to be a runner was much stronger than my desire to be a smoker, so when I started seriously being a runner I quit being a smoker.” – It’s amazing how one healthy habit can result in so many more.
What about you? Leave us a comment with how running changes your life. I’m sure you will find some kindred running spirits out there.