Running has changed my life in more ways than would be immediately apparent.
First, of course, on the surface I am more fit and have more energy to do the things that I am passionate about. But, digging deeper, I have really taken to taking care of my body. Not spiritually in the "treat your body like a temple" aspect, but more along the mechanical lines of "your body is a machine - garbage in, garbage out". I've found that if I have a long run upcoming the next day, I'll take better care to make sure that I am doing the right things. My first hungover 10+ mile run taught me that lesson very VERY quickly!
Next, in my ever busier life, running has become ME time. I am always doing something for everyone. Having a set running schedule gives me 10 hours a week to think through everything that is happening without the need to 'filter' out life's annoyances. If I want to think through an issue at work while running, I can do that. If I just want to listen to my footfalls and breath in and out, that is just fine too. Either way, I make the decision. If anything, in a life that offers me few decisions that are truly mine, running allows me to take control and dictate what, where, and for how long I go.
Finally, running has given me something to be proud of. I still never get tired of hearing someone ask "what did you do this weekend?" only to see the shock on their face when they learn that I ran 8 miles on Saturday and 15 miles on Sunday. Growing up, I was not a very athletic (or quite honestly very 'talented') person. I played no sports and participated in limited activities through school. (Go marching band!) Now that I am running, my dad has something to brag to his buddies about and I have an easy connection to hundreds of other bloggers who also share in my goals, successes, and more importantly, my failures.—Adam from Arizona
When I read Adam's story, I couldn't help but smile. You see, even though I'm a lot older than Adam, I could relate to his story on a lot of levels. When I was a preteen, I too was not very athletic. In fact, I was overweight (my biggest accomplishment was eating a twin bag of Lays potato chips in one sitting). I too was in the marching band. But like Adam, today running is a part of me. Keeps me fit and sane. Thanks Adam for sharing your story!