If you make comparisons, you might feel inadequate for being slower than another runner or you feel empty with no goals if you’re ahead.
If you find and know your own internal reasons why you run, others can’t stop you from enjoying running.
My reasons may or may not intersect with yours.
- It all started with going faster than a walk.
- To find beauty in nature.
- To find beauty in strength.
- Art. Taking photos, writing and talking about insights from running.
- parkrun. Where do I begin?
- Big-ass goals. Striving for achievements, and mini-goals and daily achievements along the way.
- Curiosity, learning, data, statistics, science.
- Friends. I’ve made more real friends in 3 years of running than I have in a lifetime.
- Endorphins, and the runner’s high.
- Weight management and earning more calories for yummy food.
- Health. Blah, blah, blah, yes, it’s almost a cliché that running’s so good for you, but deep down I ecstatically love those annual “clear health” check-ups that ease many fears.
- Aspirations towards Sisu. In Finland, Sisu is a unique trait that means consistency and resolute determination. It’s an epic quality of stamina and perseverance, of courage in the face of extreme hardship.
Know your reasons and know they’re yours and you can run happy.
I like the idea of sisu. I did enjoy today striding grimly along through a driving cold rain and wind wearing only (above the waist) a T-shirt. You could also mention the definite links between regular exercise and better mental health, and I’m doing it now more for that purpose than for weight loss.
The only discouraging thing I’ve found is “You don’t need new shoes. I don’t think you should take up running – you wouldn’t enjoy it.” But I am going selectively deaf.
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