The most commonly asked question in my life is why I run.
This doesn't surprise me, because I used hate running. In high school I never did any sports – actually I actively tried to avoid them.
Fast forward five years and suddenly I'm a half-marathoner, training for my second, with my third one already lined up. I've become one of those girls I used to hate. You know the ones: that get up early for a run, and swear that the best days are the ones that start with a coffee and a run.
So how did I get here? I woke up one morning really unhappy with the girl I saw in the mirror. I had succumbed to stress and anxiety by binging and not caring for my body like I knew I should be.
So I decided to start running simply because I knew I needed to start working out and I figured that fit people run. Right?
So I started training for a 5k, and it went really well. I loved running but as soon as I got busy it fell to the wayside.
A couple years later I once again woke up unhappy with myself. I'd gone through a really rough patch in my life, had once again started binging, and had gained 40lbs. So I started running again. Actually, I signed up for a half marathon. I figured if nothing else I would be able to walk it. I started training and working out several times a week. I ate healthier and lost weight and started to love my body.
I completed my half marathon in February of 2017, and while I did have to walk a lot of it, I still finished it. That's when attitude to running really changed. I realized that I didn't have to be good at it, I just had to do it. It doesn't matter how slow my time is as long as I finish the miles. It's not speed that makes a runner - it's the act of running.
Realizing that gave me a sense of freedom. I stopped comparing my time to other people's, and just enjoyed running. I felt that if I could go from someone who hated running, to someone who could complete a half marathon, there wasn't anything I couldn't do. And I fell in love with that feeling.
So what did I do? I signed up for another half marathon. And I have another one in the works in February. I run 3-4 days a week, and it's the best part of my day.
Running helps me relieve stress, and reconnect to my body. I feel stronger and more in control when I start my day with a run. It's nice to know that I started the day by doing something good for me. By starting my day with a run I set myself up for success with a healthy level of selfishness the rest of the day.
But more than that running has helped me stop seeing my body as just a thing to look pretty, and made me see it as a living thing that allows me to live a life I love. Running has helped heal the relationship I have with my body. I've started to accept my thick thighs, small butt, and lack of curves. My body is strong and I love that. I nourish it so it can preform it's best, and I spoil it with hot baths, healthy stressing and lots of sleep. I love it.
Running has changed my life, and that's what keeps me coming back day after day.