I run frequently, however I don’t fit into the typical mold, body type, etc. of a runner in the way runners have been historically categorized. That’s because there is no “typical” categorization for a runner. You do not have to be a specific body mass index or look to be a runner. You also do not have to engage in one specific type of running. It’s not about the distance you’ve logged or pace you have achieved, but about getting out and doing it. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, abilities, and have all different types of goals.
I personally run because I believe in the physical and mental benefits of it, as well as because of the level of adventure running has brought to my life. For me personally, if I tell someone that I am going to run a 48 hr. race in Vermont or a 50 mile run/hike in upstate New York, they would tell me I’m crazy and they don’t understand why I would do that. The only thing that I can say, is that until you have witnessed nature in its raw form and have seen the view from the top of the mountain as I have during one of those events, it is hard to fathom the reasoning. To me, it is also about pushing yourself beyond what you believed was possible mentally and physically. I have found that once you have done that, the issues you may face in your personal life or at work are easier to overcome.
I am not saying you need to sign up for an ultra-marathon or anything like that, but take the opportunity to get outside for a run. I am focusing on running, however even a challenging hike or decent bike ride would provide you the same type of benefits. It’s about getting that blood pumping, and working on that cardio and physical endurance. We have evolved from running for our lives from predators, to doing everything we can to stray away from running and other cardio because we don’t like it or don’t think we’re good at it.
It’s not just for the physical benefits that we should run, but also to enjoy the world around us.
There is so much we miss in our daily lives and surroundings because we are passing by everything at the speed of a car. So the next time the weather is nice out, lace up your shoes and go out for that run. If you work at it like you would with any barbell movement (i.e. Clean & Jerk), vary your route, speed, and distance, you may just notice something physical or mental you have been missing. After all, I haven’t always enjoyed running myself. It took doing a lot of it, while training for Ironman Lake Placid in 2012 to truly develop an appreciation for it, and where it has taken me since then. Have fun and I hope you enjoy where it takes you.