Do you know what I do when I’m having a bad day? I run.
Do you know what I do when I’m bored? I run.
Do you know what I do when I’m tired? Again, I run.
Before you accuse me of being a sports-junkie who spends his waking hours in the outdoors, let me confess to you that:
I’ve never loved running. In fact, I’ve never had a healthy relationship with any kind of exercise.
When I was in high school, I used to lose sleep over the thought of having a P.E class the next morning that would suck the air out of my lungs and leave me in pain for weeks.
The idea of moving my ass, besides going to the kitchen for a quick snack, made me want to puke.
So for the most part of my life, I believed that exercise wasn’t for me. I’ve never been good at sports anyway and I was okay with that.
I was also suffering from self-doubt, restlessness and constant overthinking. When you have these three issues in your life, you know mild depression is just around the corner.
I struggled to keep a good mood for a whole day. I’ve had all the reasons to be content, but I would always find a reason to make myself feel miserable. I literally was my own worst enemy.
Then one day, I was reading an article on how even a little exercise can have a tremendous effect on your life both physically and mentally. I got intrigued and wanted to experience that claim for myself.
Last March, I developed a habit of taking long walks while drinking tea in the evening. It started after returning home from college every day and continued until this day (without the tea for insomnia reasons).
Shortly after that, I began to notice that I felt more peaceful and relaxed whenever I returned home from my daily walk.
And oh boy, I loved that feeling ❤️
Fast forward to May, my habit got stronger and stronger and I got hooked on that feeling of euphoria.
I wanted more of it. I became an endorphin addict.
In order to experience it in higher doses, I knew I needed to take my long slow walks to the next level. And that is how, you guessed it right, I discovered running.
How running changed me
I started running once every weekend. Then twice a week. Then three times a week. Sometimes I’d be running every day.
It’s become a part of my life. It offered me an escape from the world and its madness and a way to temporarily forget about it.
Surprisingly, running motivated me to experiment with other kinds of exercise. I started dancing (when nobody is watching) and jump rope. And not long after I started running regularly I began doing bodyweight training.
It also made me conscious of my food choice. Knowing that I ate some high-calorie junk food that would take me 45 min of intense running to burn it wasn’t pleasant.
I lost 7 kg in two months, gained muscle, and for the first time in my life, I could touch my abs.
But the real benefits weren’t physical. It was the effect of running on my mental health that has changed my life for the better.
When you’re 1 km away from your distance goal and your legs feel heavy and your mind begs you to stop but you continue, that’s some real gut. Running has taught me about perseverance.
When you feel lazy and just want to lie down on the couch and call it a day, but you force yourself to get up, wear your running shoes, and hit the road, that’s self-control. Running has taught me about discipline.
When you break your last record by the seconds, you know that you’ve done something great. No matter how small it is, it is still a reason for you to celebrate. Running has taught me about the importance of small achievements.
Running has helped me improve my posture. I now stand taller and feel better. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel happy and confident. Ever felt like you’re invincible and on top of the world? That’s Serotonin doing its magic. And you get a rush of it when you stand tall and proud. Running helped me do just that.
Since I started running, I’ve never been more motivated to see my real potential than I am right now. I wake up everyday feeling ready to experience new things and grow out of my comfort zone.
Not only an increased motivation but running increased my zest for life. Remember when you were a little kid and you used to run around not caring about a thing? Magically, running helps you feel more like that little kid again.
Creativity sparked like never before. Every time I return home after a run, I feel inspired to create something. It may be a design, a piece of writing, or an improvised melody on guitar.
I can go on and on about how running changed my mental health for the better but I want to let you experience what I’m talking about for yourself.
How can you change your life with running?
Whether you want to lose weight, look sexier, have a better posture, teach yourself discipline, feel motivated every day, feel like a kid again, or you just want a way to escape the struggle of daily life and routine, running is worth trying out.
“But I’m no running junkie like you! I don’t enjoy sweating and moving my ass unless I’m obliged!”, I hear you say.
Don’t worry, I used to say the same. Remember when I told you that I was a couch-potato and hated every minute of my P.E classes? I know how it feels like to move your ass when you don’t want to.
But I’ve got good news for you: You don’t have to suffer to run.
Running can be enjoyable and fun for everyone.
Yeah, you read that right. Everyone can run and everyone can have fun doing it while reaping its benefits.
Humans are social creatures. We thrive when we’re in groups and feel more motivated when we’re around others who share with us the same enthusiasm.
I remember when I first started, I couldn’t run more than 3.5 km on my own. But one day, I joined a running group near me and boy, I hit 8km without breaking a sweat!
When I learned that running can be fun when practiced with a group of people, I got an idea:
I’m co-founding a running club in INSAT and everyone is welcome to join us. Everyone.
Even if you’ve never run before (apart from chasing after missed buses, or dogs chasing after you), you can start your running journey.
Join our Facebook Group Here.
Further information will be published in the group soon. So stay tuned.
In the end, running releases more than just sweat. It releases your hidden potential and gifts to the world and the people around you.
As Dr. George Sheehan, author of “Going the distance”, beautifully put it:
“Out on the roads
,there is fitness and self-discovery and the persons we were destined to be.”