Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. As the well-known rapper, Eminem, would quote, running takes quite the toll on an individual’s physical as well as mental and emotional states. For the first two miles, everything hurts and every step is painstaking, then suddenly, a barrier is broken and one’s legs continue moving without their asking and the body begins to carry them, at least for me. Then, as I look down at my phone, I realize that one hour has passed and although my body encourages me to keep running, my brain deters me from continuing by reminding me about my calculus homework…
So, why do it? This tends to be the most prevalent question which my friends and family members ask me as I explain my running adventures and I attempt my best to explain the runner’s high and feeling of accomplishment as I complete new feats. Regardless, I still sound insane as I round upon the conclusion, “It is fun.” The feeling is indescribable and the journey itself was a great personal milestone. The running began the end of my sophomore year when I had to reduce my mile time for lacrosse and it continued from there where I would run a mile a day in the summer; I ended up reducing my time down by 2 whole minutes. Often, I was encouraged not to run, “The idea is futile, you’ll never get anywhere with it”, “You’re not capable so why try?”, and “Just focus on school, there’s no point in running.” Ironically enough, my grades improved with this activity and my focus was sharpened so there really are no disadvantages.
I carried running into college and started my runs at 1 mile, then I realized that I was capable of running even more and raised my threshold to 3 miles a day and moreover onto 5 miles a day. Now, as I continue training, I am working towards running a half-marathon. The limits that the body can push are incredible; just a couple years back, I could not imagine running more than a mile and soon I will be at 13.1. After beginning this activity, I realized how much my lifestyle had transformed from my healthy eating alternatives to my increased productivity from day to day. So, maybe this is why I run.
Although the mental prep before actually beginning the run may be heavy and the first steps may be burdening, after a while, you begin to appreciate the surrounding nature: the temperature of the air, the green on the trees, and the wind that pushes on your back encouraging you to keep going. After finishing, often, I want to go back and do it all again. For those individuals who need a group or partner to run with, there is the Stockton Run Club that meets every couple weeks or so for runs around Lake Fred and usually designates times in the evening. These runs take place often, although it is always possible to complete these runs on one’s own time.
For any individual of any age, size, or physical stature, running is a great option. Especially when it is controlled at a desired pace, running serves as a stress relieving method. So, go ahead, take advantage of that sunny day and go for a run, a jog, even a friendly stroll. I guarantee you will be satisfied with your decision.