Why Do You Run? | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Why do you run?

I run to lose/maintain my weight. Cardio has always been the most effective form of weight loss and weight management for me. And right now, without the benefit of time to go to a gym and use the elliptical, stepping out the front door to run a couple miles is my preferred form of exercise. – Jana, stay-at-home mom

Why do you run?

I run because I don’t have to compete against anyone but myself. It makes me push myself to be more than I am right now. When I achieve a new goal with running, it gives me confidence to improve other aspects of my life as well. I think it makes me a better person. – Marla, physical therapist

Why do you run?

I run to eat a second salted chocolate chip cookie without feeling guilty about it. – Tara, lawyer

Why do you run?

Fight rheumatoid arthritis, stress relief, and so I can eat. – Kari, high school teacher

Why do you run?

Enjoyment of the sport, builds confidence, stress relief, gets me outside, alone time and social time – one of the only times I get adult, social interaction with someone older than 1 1/2 years old. – Kelsey, stay-at-home mom

Why do I run?

I started running in 2009 when my husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and I started a Ph.D. program 3.5 hours away from my home (while, by the way, still working 40 hours a week). I ran with my best friend most of the time at 9 p.m., and we’d run two to five miles in darkness – and often in the cold.

Six years later, I’m still running with a short hiatus when I broke my tailbone (more about that in another post). I run because I enjoy it. I enjoy feeling stronger, the ability to run a mile (and more) without stopping. I enjoy eating ice cream without feeling guilty. I enjoy my clothes fitting – and occasionally buying new ones when my current ones are too big on me.

St. Pete – My running route while on a work trip in St. Petersburg, Florida, last year was so pretty that I ran four miles instead of the planned two.

I haven’t loved every minute of running by any means, but it’s come in handy during some of the more stressful times in my life. There’s just something about feeling the wind against your skin, the sound of your shoes hitting the pavement, and the pace of your breath that is freeing. Invigorating. It gives me determination and stamina. It’s given me friendships I would never have had otherwise.

And, really, it wouldn’t matter if I defined myself as a runner, a walker, a swimmer, a weight trainer, a cross-fitter, or whatever else – as long as I exercise, I think the story would be the same.

I would walk at weird times, like at 9 o’clock at night or 5 a.m. I would swim because I love the feeling of being in the water and the silence of the natatorium. I would weight train to gain strength. I would attend CrossFit for the friendships. I would exercise.

Exercise used to be such a negative word for me. I didn’t like to exercise. I didn’t like walking on a treadmill. I didn’t like biking. But, like everything, when I realized I needed to make a life change for myself and for my family, I forced myself to become consistent with it. I walked three times a week. Then four. Then I started running. And then – I didn’t stop.

My daughter, Alice, has been a consistent running companion since she was born.

And, after a while, that habit of exercise changed from something that I had to do to something – well, something I still need to do, but something I felt privileged to do. Not everybody can run a mile without stopping. Not everybody can run five miles in the morning before the sun comes up. When it became part of a habit, it became my routine, and now without running, I feel like I’m leaving out part of my day.

Now, I want you, dear reader, to think about the same. What could you see yourself doing to make a habit that could turn into a routine? Could you start small, maybe with just walking three days a week? Walk with your kids, walk on your lunch break, or walk in the morning when the sun’s peaking over the horizon. Don’t set yourself up to fail; start small and move up. I never ran before 2009. Wouldn’t have dreamed of it, and now I’m so glad I made that choice. So start with walking, maybe move to jogging, and then feel the wind on your face as you listen to your shoes against the pavement. And then you’ll be an inspiration to those who ask you the same question I asked earlier:

Why do you run?

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