Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What Running Has Done for Me

In honor of National Running Day, I thought it would be fitting to write a post about what running has done for me. I know that I have written posts about my love of running before, but I don't think I have ever truly expressed how running has shaped me as a young woman.

First and foremost, running helped me to lose weight and helps to keep me in shape:

Left: Me in 2010 at my Sister's HS Graduation. Right: Me in February, 30 pounds lighter, in that same dress. And I got a haircut (apparently it cut all the blonde out of my hair because I've never dyed it)

Running has given me confidence. I have always been confident in my intellectual abilities, but running has given me the confidence to try new things and have new adventures. 

Running has given me a positive body image. The legs that I used to hate and think were fat in high school are now being shown off (and complimented) every chance I have. This positive body image (and confidence) also allows me to wear things I never would have before, like bright pants or bikinis. I might not be the skinniest girl around, I might not be the strongest girl around, I might not be the prettiest girl around, but positive body image and confidence draws people to me and also allows me to be true to who I am.

I would never wear normal pants if I didn't have to.

Running has helped me push my limits. I ran my first 1/2 marathon (and first race ever) this February, I'm running a 5k in September, a 10-miler in October, another 1/2 in October, and another 1/2 next February. If you would have asked me 2 years ago if I would be doing any of this, I would have laughed at you. I have a marathon on my bucket list, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet, but I will one day.

Running has given me a new way to deal with problems. Running helps me to de-stress and to look at problems in an entirely new way. I often deal with problems the same way I deal with a tough run: Pause, take a deep breath, and change my thinking. I stop thinking that I CAN'T do something, and start thinking that I can and set mini goals for myself. This has really helped me not get frustrated when things get out of control around here. 

Running has given me something to be proud of. Granted, there are a lot of things that I have done in my life that I am incredibly proud of, but running is something different. I am proud of myself and I am proud of the running community. I am proud of the runners who are starting out, the veterans, the elites. I am proud to tell my neighbor how many miles I ran when he asks each morning. I am proud that the trainer yelled at me on Monday for tapping out at a sprint at 8.5 mph (with all the non-runners) when he told me that he could see that the drill was "easy" for me (it was not) and that I could give him more (That's true, but the chest infection excused me). I am proud of my friends who are asking for tips to get started. I am proud of the running community for pulling together because of the events in Boston. I am proud to call myself a runner.

Running continues to make me happy. If I haven't run that day, chances are you can tell. I'm either tired, in a fog, or cranky. If I go without a run for a couple days in a row, I am not fun to be around. Running makes me happy and sets the tone for the rest of my day. I used this picture in A Mom Runs This Town's #runreal challenge, but I feel happiest when I am sweaty and disgusting (even if I look unattractive):

Running has helped me to appreciate life. This quote describes it all:

I could go on and on about all the things that running has done for me, but I'd love to hear what running has done for you! If you're not a runner, I'd love to hear what your favorite workout does for you!

Happy National Runners Day and Happy Running!

P.S. For those of you who did not win my Armpocket Giveaway and would like to order an Armpocket of your own (it's worth it), Armpocket has sent me the code "RUN13", which will give you free shipping on any product you order from their website. Check it out!