By Ambassador Heather Foley
You know that feeling when you are running free and easy like a gazelle leaping through the meadow, soft sunlight warming your shoulders, a cool, gentle breeze wicking the beads of sweat from your brow as you run faster, and eventually you realize you can solve all the world’s problems with your running zen?
Is it more like this – you peel your already sweaty butt from your car seat after battling for a parking spot at Memorial, you slog out 4ish miles resisting the urge to sit on a bench and call someone to pick you up, flinging the pint of sweat out that has gathered in each eyebrow, as you gasp and stress-out, making a mental list of all the things you want to accomplish this week?
If the second scenario sounds more familiar, congratulations, you are a runner.
When I first started running I kept waiting for this moment to arrive that I felt all the “real runners” always talked about. I waited for the runner’s high. I waited to LOVE running. I waited for the day where I would crave hitting the open road alone with nothing but my thoughts for miles on end. The secret is that it never came.
What did come was a huge heap of supportive and inspiring new friends, a gigantic appetite, a slightly smaller yet stronger body, increased self-confidence, a new appreciation for my city, hours of riveting conversations where nothing was off-limits, travels to beautiful places and a new desire to push myself to be better than I was before in all realms of life. I still don’t just love running in and of itself all the time, but I do completely adore the side effects of running and people who run.
There are all sorts of reasons to run, and your reason is just as worthy than any others.
You can run because you love running.
You can run for beer/cupcakes/pizza/chicken wings.
You can run to raise money or awareness for a cause you care about.
You can run because you want to look good in a swimsuit.
You can run to be healthier.
You can run because you can walk your kid/dog at the same time.
You can run for the feeling of accomplishment.
Or you may be one of the gazelles that runs for the love of running.
Whatever you reason, run often and run proud. You don’t have to just love running to be a real runner; you just have to do it, no matter your motivation.
About the Author: Ambassador Heather Foley
Heather started running after college to keep in shape and quickly found her family in the running community of Houston. She has run over 30 marathons/ultra marathons (including back-to-back finishes at the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa), but also loves all the other distances as well. To keep in the best running shape she can be in, she also regularly does crossfit and yoga. She loves short tris and is still trying to get her mountain biking legs. In between, she likes music or a good patio on a nice day with friends.
Twitter – @haf811
Instagram – @haf811
Love this! And I totally agree with the running assessment. I remember when I first started running, asking my friend (who introduced me to running) if it ever got easier. Ha! I know now that it doesn’t (there’s always another goal to reach) but the things I’ve learned, people I’ve met, clarity I’ve come to through running makes all the physically hard times while running so worth it.
You forgot the most important reason: You can run for love!