If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me, “So, you like running?” I would have enough money to buy every color of my favorite pair of running shoes.
To be honest, there is no simple answer to that question. So most of the time I just laugh and nod my head. Actually, it depends on the day. There are days when I come back from a run feeling so completely satisfied with myself. I might’ve had a great talk with my running partner or just felt good for no apparent reason. I might’ve hit some fast times or went longer than I ever have before.
And then there are days when I wonder why I ever started to begin with and certainly question why I continue to put myself through such pain.
There are plenty of both days; ones where another mile is no big deal and ones where every step is a struggle.
So why do I do it? Because running is not a hobby for me. It’s my life. I don’t just run when I feel like it, or when I’m trying to reach a goal. I run to clear my head, to prove to myself that I’m stronger than I think I am, and to push the limits of what I think I can take. I run to learn about myself and to encourage others.
Running is so much a part of me that I plan my day around it, can tell what day of the week it is based on what kind of workout I had that day, and can tell you if I’m having a good day or a bad one based on how I felt when I finished that last mile. Running in the summer can make me question my choice in sport, and stepping into the freezing cold of winter to get the miles in usually makes me question my sanity.
But even when it’s difficult, and I want to give up, I can’t. I’m addicted. Missing a day makes me feel guilty, and going farther sometimes makes me reach a runner’s high. Yes, it’s a real thing. And it’s awesome.
So if you’ve ever asked someone if they “like” running, or why they do it, understand that it’s a love/hate relationship. And I promise, the hate is worth finding out you love it.