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This Tuesday, we are digging deep.
I think I’ve always been a fairly decent human being and I don’t know that running (or any other recreational or physical activity) can actually make one a better person. However, running does bring out some good things in me.
I’m healthier. Running on a consistent basis means I’m moving my body. I’m burning calories, building muscles and keeping my heart strong. I was never exactly unhealthy, but I love feeling in shape and active.
I am more committed to goals. Running isn’t a short term gain. It’s about putting in the work, day after day, week after week, in pursuit of some long term goal. You simply cannot cheat the system. Undertraining is easily exposed on the road or trail. Running keeps me focused on the proverbial forest rather than the trees and I have developed the patience needed to keep my eye on the prize rather than instant gratification.
I appreciate my body. I used to despise my body. Couldn’t stand the sight of it. No matter what, that reflection in the mirror was just absolutely abhorrent to me. Running has shown me there is more to me than cellulite and stretch marks. At the end of the day, I am strong, and my solid legs can carry me for miles. These broad shoulders support me through hours of yoga practice or paddle me on a SUP or kayak. My height is generally an asset and I have learned to appreciate that, too. It’s hard to go through life unhappy with one’s appearance, but running has helped me change that.
I have opened up. I am what is called an “extroverted introvert.” I am good out and about, but I am better in my comfort zone and definitely tend towards being a homebody and needing to recharge after too much social time. Running has helped me attain a bit more balance. I am more likely to be the first person to say hello on the road, strike up a conversation with someone at the start of a race or even offer assistance if I see someone struggling. The friends I have made along the way have been so incredible!
What good qualities does running bring out in you?