Why I Love Running... And I Hope You Do Too!?
By Julie Isphording
Running has always been a treasure in my life. I may have crossed a lot of finish lines---from the imaginary line at the end of my driveway to the Olympic Marathon Trials--but I will never finish running. There really is no finish line, just like there's no such thing as a finished person.
Why do I love it so much? Here's a start. Hopefully, you can add to the list. Perhaps this will give you that tiny push you need to get out the door and give it a go. Maybe your goal is the Flying Pig Marathon or The Thanksgiving Day Race or even around the block. Just remember, a runner is real when she takes the first step.
- I feel real when I run. It brings me back to the basics. It's my running shoes, my funny looking stride, my big heart and me. No make up. No wonderbra. No dancing shoes. No mousse in the hair.
- It's a special occasion. I get all dressed up in my cool high tech running clothes, my $100 shoes and my fancy watch. Expensive? Yes. But those clothes make me feel fast, fun and fabulous.
- It makes me feel better every day. No matter what.
- It's good thinking time. Running is my escape. My gift to me. I have solved lots of my problems on a ten-mile jaunt. Just last week, I figured out my speech to the eighty graders at Cardinal Pacelli School, practiced my entire radio show (aloud), and prayed that I could make it through a tough day ahead. After 24 years of running, this list is quite extensive.
- Running has given me some great legs. Okay, they are not model material but they still look good in a pair of baggy shorts.
- Running gives me more energy. Hard to believe, but when you are fit, you can do more during the day with less effort.
- Running is so honest. The watch doesn't lie. The miles don't change. The distance is exactly the distance. There are no judges. There are no politics. There is no point system to critique my form.
- Running helps others. You can run for people suffering from Leukemia, Arthritis, heart disease, and breast cancer. There are so many meaningful ways to make a difference on the run. Crossing a finish line can impact so many lives in addition to your own.
- Running is a party. You can run with lots of people and talk the whole way. You don't have to clean the house or prepare a meal. You just have to meet at the street corner and bring your water.
- Running makes you notice beautiful things. Moonlight and streetlights. The early morning fog at dawn. The sun breaking the horizon. The dew still on the grass. A deer crossing a city street. The smell of rain in the air. A lonely forgotten Christmas light still dangling on a tree branch. The sound of quiet.
- You win everyday. According to research and my own personal health, running beats depression, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and more. There's no such thing as failure in this game.
- It's a dress rehearsal for life. Life is not always easy and either is running. But when you finally crest that hill or run that first long run, or cross that finish line, you realize you can challenge tough stuff in your real life. You learn that you really can endure whatever comes your way.
- You don't need a how-to manual. If you can walk, you can run. Easy, simple, fun.
- It's the best weight-loss exercise. Running is number one when it comes to calorie burning exercises.
- Running is quiet. Running gives me silent reflective time to say my prayers and be grateful. To realize that life is made up of minutes, just like my run. Some of those minutes are much more challenging than others, but I am thankful for every one of them. The clock is always ticking. Isn't life too short already?
- Running makes you feel like a kid again. I remember way back when I jumped and ran and played forever. There was hopscotch and hula-hoops, kickball and Mother May I? Red light! Green light! Did you ever run through the sprinkler or catch lightening bugs in a jar? Hide and go seek anyone? Did you jump on the bed? Pillow fights? You never got tired. You ran all day long. Running gives you your childlike spirit back---you can still jump in puddles and run through the rain. You can go out to play. And when you come home, you can have some chocolate milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- (I've run out of space--- please insert your own)
Life keeps running and if I have anything to say about it so will you--one step at a time. One heart beat at a time.
A former Olympic runner and member of the first ever Women's Olympic Marathon Team (1984), Julie Isphording has been blazing trails ever since. Now, she's a syndicated radio talk show host for an award winning health and fitness radio programs on 55KRC, the Race Director of The Thanksgiving Day Race, and a motivational speaker.