Running: Impacting our lives

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Jonah Maple, Opinion Editor

In all of my years of running, some of the questions that I get the most are why do you run and why would you do that? I am sure this is something that other runners get asked a lot too. Running is something that we do five, six, or seven days a week, but we still cannot even tell a stranger or a close friend why we do this thing, this thing that we dedicate ourselves to and are very passionate about.

Through all of my years of running, I have made many new connections and friendships through being on a team. People who run as adults also create bonds in running partners and running clubs. Personally, some of my closest friendships would have never happened if it wasn’t for running.

Running has also helped me be closer to my parents, as it is something that we all have in common. I aim to reach my father’s personal bests, and it is something that we can all understand and talk about. When I first started running I went on short jogs with my mom, then I got faster and started running with my dad. Now I am too fast for both my mom and my dad, but running still brings me closer to them.

The simple act of running lets me relax. All of the stresses and anxiety that I have during the day go away during running, and I feel like I can escape them during this time. When I am running, I can finally relax and feel at peace. I know that I am not alone in this feeling. I know several people who also use running as a way to relax, help with stress, and lower blood pressure levels.

I know that I am not alone in this sentiment. Former Olympian Nick Symmonds said in a recent YouTube video that, “Every single morning I wake up and I get my workout in because it makes me mentally, physically and emotionally a stronger person,” and that is a sentiment that I feel lots of runners have as well.

Along with the positive effect mentally, one thing that motivates me to run is when I have a certain goal in mind. Often runners, professional or casual, have a certain goal in mind for running in an event. Usually it is to get under a certain standout minute, like under five minutes in the mile or under three hours in the marathon. Having this goal gives me a sort of purpose and drive to put in that extra work and get out there every day to be my very best, and I am sure that it is the same for many others out there.

Recently, with the world doing social distancing and really staying at home, running has helped me. I feel like I have been trapped inside all day, and it is liberating to be able to escape all of that for a little bit. In this time where all of us feel bored, running gives me a purpose and goals that can motivate me even in these gloomy times.

Now maybe, it is clear to see why anyone would do this thing called running. We do it because we like it. We like the good things that have happened to us because of it, and we feel good during and after it.