Perseverance.  Focus.  Endurance.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
        Hebrews 12:1-2
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Blog Archives - 2012
What's So Great About Running??

There is one question I get asked every freaking day. Like, not even kidding, every day someone asks me this, and I don't understand their logic behind asking the question. As a runner, you get pretty sick of it. Mainly because nonrunners will NEVER understand. But then again, it gives us a chance to "minister" to them....hopefully turning them into one of us. So what's the question? Drumroll please..............

"Why do you like running?"

Whoa. I bet you didn't see that one coming. Shocker. Maybe this is a little too condescending, but for all you nonrunners out there: you need to understand a few things about runners and why we do what we do (and why we love it so much). So please, bear with me. Who knows? Maybe this will convert you...

1) It makes us feel GOOD. There is absolutely no better feeling than the one you get after a run. I can't even describe it. You've probably heard of runner's high, and if you haven't, you need to get out more. And the definition is exactly that; feeling high after a run. Kinda like taking drugs, but not taking drugs. Okay no, that was a bad comparison. You see, there's something called endorphins--chemicals in our brains--that act as a natural painkiller for your body. A runner's high is basically just an endorphin high. You feel invincible. You are past the stage of your muscles feeling like they're dying. I honestly cannot even begin to tell you how AMAZING it feels. Feeling depressed? Go run. Your turtle died? Get a few miles in. I promise, you will feel better afterwards. Don't do drugs...that would be stupid. Especially when they're so expensive, geez....just run. That's free.

2) We drop weight like it's hot. Running is seriously the world's best exercise for weight loss. Hands down. Your argument is invalid. None of that elliptical or spinning crap. That doesn't even compare to the weight loss benefits of running. Every weight loss expert will tell you the exact same thing: Eat right and exercise. Duh. Running burns about 100 calories a mile (depending on your speed), making it the king of calorie burning exercises. You can kiss spinning goodbye. Here's a little bonus: when you exercise regularly and up your mileage or intensity, you magically begin eating better. Why? Well because your body craves the nutrients it needs and you're gonna eat less and less of the junk that you used to stuff down your throat. Win-win situation? I think yes.

3) We look cool. Now before you roll your eyes and click exit, listen for a sec. Runners are the most respected athletes in existence. We can run for hours on end. Doesn't matter if we're fast or slow. We get our butts out there and work it. There's no denying that you nonrunners secretly envy us runners. Let me see you run 19 miles and maintain your sanity. (19 miles is the longest I've ever run consecutive miles-wise....) People don't say, "Wow that guy running and sweating like crazy looks like such a douche...." No, you guys say, "Oh hey look, a runner. That looks like it sucks." Does someone running on a windy, snowy, 30 degree afternoon look lazy to you? I didn't think so. Runners are tough. We push ourselves, therefore earning the bragging rights we have. We enjoy bragging about our long runs, mainly because there are so many people who can't do that. Not to mention the awesome shoes, shorts, shirts, and other running gear that's available to us.

4)  Inspiration strikes. If we ever just need time to think, we run. Whenever we're running, we come up with our most ingenious ideas. Alexander Graham Bell came up with the idea of a telephone while he was running....Actually no, he didn't, but that would have been cool. In fact, I don't think Bell even ran. At all. But anyways, my point is that our imaginations go absolutely crazy when we're running. A good deal of people actually use running to solve their mental blocks and decisions; musicians, artists, business owners, writers, videogame designers, *ahem* the president....Can't think? We go for a run and BAM! Creativity breakthrough. You know what? I bet Steve Jobs was jogging with his dog when he thought up the Apple iPhone. I mean, it's the only logical explanation.

5) We meet new people and explore new places. Running the same old route every single time gets boring and tedious, which is why you expand your horizons and find different routes you've never run before. There's a sense of excitement and unfamiliarity that we runners just love. There are tons of runners who drop everything and go for a run when they arrive in a new city or while on vacation. It's a great way to adjust to the area and become familiar with the basic layout of the city. The same goes for trailrunners. A new country trail is like getting a puppy for Christmas. Races give us a chance to meet people just like us: people who actually enjoy running and don't do it for punishment. Meeting other runners is encouraging to us, making us want to run more and enter more races. There's an unspoken rule of camaraderie among runners. But there's also that sense of "I'm better than you" vibe just because we're competitive. All in all, it's the best kind of love-hate relationship. Ever.

6) Last but not least, running gives us time to think. We can hit rewind and go over the day's events, reflecting on certain things and coming to different conclusions. A lot of runners--when stressed--will tell you that they "need to go for a run or something," meaning that they need to clear their minds. It's a time where we can be alone with our thoughts and just escape reality for a little while. I personally use my running time as a devotional, praying to God and just thanking Him for everything. I can't tell you how many times I've gone out to run just to talk with (or yell at, sorry) God. I don't want to get too deep and ruin the moment, but for me, running and God go hand in hand. Running is free therapy. Who needs to pay hundreds of dollars for a session with a shrink when we can just go for a nice 10 miler? That's runner logic right there.

Hopefully I provided you nonrunners some insight on what we (runners) are all about. Running is our life. Believe it or not, we actually enjoy the pain that comes with it. Call us masochists, whatever. If you want a piece of what we love about running, go put on some tennis shoes, suit up, go out that front door, and start running. That's all it takes. Seriously, go try it. Right now. I don't care if it's cold out, don't be a wuss. And most importantly, have FUN!

Happy Trails!

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