I love running. A lot of people do. There are also a lot of people that don’t, and yet some of those people force themselves to run. This morning I overheard a few ladies talking about how much they hate running but they “have to do it” – this was while they were running. Why do people feel like they have to run? Based on observations and conversations with friends, acquaintances & strangers I’d say the number 1 reason is to lose weight. That’s not a good reason to run, especially if you are forcing yourself. My trainer recently asked me why I love running. There are a lot of reasons, but I think it comes down to that sense of accomplishment I feel after completing a run, no matter how long. Each run is a reminder of how strong I am and that I can do hard things.
I love running, I have to do it. I’ve loved it since December 4, 2011. If you know me or read my blog you know the story (it is in the last post I wrote). I wanted to run because I went to watch my friend run a race and the energy of the runners, the spectators and the thought of experiencing crossing a finish line myself is why I decided to run. As corny as it sounds, it was magical; that day changed my life in many ways. I can’t describe the feeling I had, I just knew that I wanted to run. If my choice to run was because of weight loss I know wouldn’t have kept it up. I know this for a fact because in 2008 I started running to lose weight. I ran for a few months, hated it but acted like I liked it and then stopped. I never imagined I would love to run the way I do now.
It is December, we all know what is around the corner. A New Year, and for a lot of people that means, “a New Year and a new you!”. Gym memberships go up, weight loss challenges start happening, and for a few months being active is the thing to do, but often for the wrong reasons. Maybe that describes you. It described me until that day in December. I didn’t know better. I wanted to exercise because I wanted to “be in shape” and by in shape I mean skinny. What I do now, and what I try to encourage others to do is to bring movement into their lives for their health and enjoyment. Because, I believe, if you truly love doing something that is what will make you happy. If you think looking a certain way will make you happy (as I did) I think you’re mistaken. So in this new year don’t fall for the bs advertising that you are going to see. You don’t need to make yourself into something new. You don’t need to do something you hate to look a certain way. Find something you love to do that will make you strong and happy.
Thank you to the ladies that I overheard during my run this morning. They reminded me to be thankful I have movement in my life that I love. I choose to have movement in my life because I know what I could be like if I didn’t. I see people around me slowly wasting away because they don’t have movement in their life that they love – but they would call it “old age”. I share these thoughts with you today because I hope we can STOP focusing so much on how we look, and rather how we feel and what we are capable of – no matter what our age. I hope that we can be thankful that we can move, and stop finding excuses not to. I really hope, in 2017 and beyond that we realize what a gift our lives are and to treat ourselves and others with respect. Treat your body with respect, be useful.
In honor of running, movement, being thankful, being capable and doing something for others I want to invite everyone to my 3rd Annual Run For Mando. In 2014, on the 10 year anniversary of my uncle’s accident I decided to run for him. On Christmas Eve we will run 6 miles for my uncle – a mile for every year he was unable to move. This event takes place in Sacramento (check the link for details) but it can be done anywhere. If you are in Sacramento, CA and would like to participate please RSVP here. If you’re out of town you can still participate! If you hate running you can still participate! Run where ever you live, or go skate, do yoga, go climbing…If you’re not running, maybe for 6 minutes during your chosen activity remeber to give thanks that you can be active. For 6 minutes try to think of what it would be like to be confined to a bed or a wheelchair for 6 years of your life. Forcing yourself to run even though you hate it seems kinda stupid now, doesn’t it?