The Continuous Evolution of the Meaning of Running

We received a message and an inquiry. The former made me happy. The latter allowed me to gain clarity.

Let’s start with the jolly message. The sender, a former teacher of mine, said he started running recently after reading our blog posts and seeing all our outdoor adventures. He has since lost weight and is feeling much healthier.

 

After reading the message, I was compelled to go out for a run. Trotting along the river, feeling light and happy, “I wish I could feel like this all the time.” There’s just something about making a tangible difference.

The inquiry was about our Runivore Tuesday LSD running group. An acquaintance said she would love to run with us but felt a little intimidated about running with strangers.

We wrote back and explained that we run at an easy pace. It’s genuinely an LSD. Also, the routes we take provide multiple bailout points for runners with different schedules and experiences. We have not received a reply.

At first, I felt the need to write again to convince her. Help her gain confidence with her running, help her be a stronger runner, help her overcome the fear of running with strangers, and help her understand that running is not about being fast or slow.

We follow each other on several social apps, which allows me to see her progress. She runs almost every day at a pace that suits her, at locations that are convenient for her, and with other great people. It’s her prerogative.

On social media, we exchange “likes” and “comments.” Just two runners giving each other encouragement.

Her running is her safe haven, and her purpose for running differs from mine. There is no rational reason for me to give unsolicited advice, sticking my nose in somebody else’s business.

The meaning and purpose of running for me have also evolved over the years. When I first started running, it was just a social activity that allowed me to stay in shape. I would run 10-20 minutes on a treadmill before I hit the weights and run a few 5ks with co-workers.

It was about ten years ago that I really got hooked. Looking back, I really romanticized this simple sport of putting one foot in front of the other. Running meant a lot to me, and being a runner was an important part of my existence.

Running is still essential now, but I’m not tagging on extra meaning. It’s just a fitness hobby that I enjoy alot. My identity and sense of accomplishment are not linked to how far or fast I run.

It’s as necessary and also as routine as eating three meals daily.

Here you have it. Three runners are mentioned in this piece, and all three run for different reasons. That’s why running is super duper awesome. Just run the way that makes you happy.

 

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Running makes you happy. Here are some tips and energy gel recommendations that can help you run longer. More running, more happiness.

Happiness happens when you run. True that!