Because today is #GlobalRunningDay, I thought now was the most appropriate time to try and explain what running has done for me. Though I couldn’t possibly put into words how this simple action has changed my life, I’m going to try. So here it goes:
I know this sounds silly, but I don’t thank you enough. I don’t thank you for all of the things you have done for me and helped me through. You have become such a huge part of my life, something I prioritize, something I force time for, and yet I take you for granted.
To start, running has given me a drive I never knew I had in me. When I am running, I have this determination that is like no other. I want to go farther and faster than my body has known, and that is something I had never thought possible before. I have become an athlete, and I’m not afraid to tell people about it. I am proud of the things that running has helped me accomplish, and running helps my body feel good.
Next, I have to thank running for keeping my head on straight. When I am out in the world, pounding the pavement, I can really think things through. The anxieties that fill my head throughout the day are pushed aside and I can think in straight lines, or in circles (depending on my path that given day). Running has helped me release stress when I have been in the worst times and at my lowest of lows, and for that, I cannot be more thankful.
Running isn’t only about getting through rough times, but celebrating accomplishments! I cried after finishing both of my marathons. I never knew that was something I could do. And I had just finished a freaking marathon! I had pride in myself for doing something that I never though physically possible.
Last, but certainly not least, running has given me a community. When I started running in high school, my team became my greatest support system. They were there for me for the ups and the downs (emotionally and while doing hill repeats). We bonded and shared a little sliver of crazy that no one else quite understood. As I grew up, it’s helped me bond with peers and now coworkers. I have run with different groups and gone on running dates. It has become an activity to share with my mom, we used to run together, and now that I moved away we share our training woes and meet up for races. It has been something that has helped keep us close, even after I moved 3,000 miles from home. The running community is so accepting! Everywhere I go, people are always excited to either talk to me about my sport, or join me on a run. Running has brought me some of the best people and relationships.
I know this letter won’t do it justice, but I had to at least try to say thank you for everything. Running, you have changed my life for the better, and I’m so happy to know you will always be there.