Depending on my latest run, I’ve noticed that I flip flop between calling running the best and THE WORST thing in the world.
It [sometimes] costs a lot.
I love when people say “running is such a cheap sport”! Sure, all you really need is sneakers and your legs, buuuuuut…. sometimes those sneakers can cost $100+. And then you can’t run without knowing how fast you’re going, right? So add on a GPS watch or smartphone with tracking apps. Then there’s the cute tech fabric gear that makes it so much more comfortable (why oh WHY do the cutest Nike tights have to be $100+??). And when you race, it adds up even more! Registration fees, travel costs, parking, etc… I’d get a part time job to pay for all this running if I weren’t spending all of my free time running. Which reminds me…
It’s time consuming!
Granted, this is more for distance runners or folks who are training for a half or full, but sometimes running takes up a LOT of time! When I’m in the thick of training, I can spend basically a whole day preparing for, running, and recovering from a long run of 2+ hours. It’s kind of a drag. Also…
It’s physically uncomfortable.
It may seem obvious, but let’s face it: running is not easy. I mean, we can call something an “easy” pace, and yes, some paces are easier to maintain than others, but putting one foot in front of the other at an accelerated rate, jiggling everywhere, pushing yourself forward, sweating, chafing, grinding away under the hot sun or in freezing wind – none of that is comfortable.
But even though it’s expensive and it hurts and it’s super time consuming, we KEEP DOING IT. Why?
It’s cheaper than therapy.
I’m not going to lie – if I didn’t get to work my issues out in my head while logging my miles, I’d look like Miss Owl up there. Running is my time to analyze, process, and sort through everything bouncing around in my head on a daily basis, and without it I might go batty. But while running alone is good for the soul, running WITH people is sometimes even better, because…
It connects you with amazing people.
I used to be a strict loner. At the back of the pack I trudged along because I was ashamed of my pace, didn’t want to slow others down, and spent probably more time in my head than was healthy. Then I discovered the joys of running with other people, and haven’t looked back. It’s one thing to be friendly, but runners are a whole other breed, and I love them. I’ve never met a more supportive bunch of people, and am endlessly grateful to running for bringing such amazing folks into my life. Alongside some of these people, I’ve logged miles and crossed finish lines and done things I never thought possible, which leads to my favorite reason why running is the best:
It helps make dreams come true!
I know, I know… it’s supremely cheesy. But it’s true! If you told me 10 years ago that I’d lose a bunch of weight, run these amazing races, win awards, work with brands I love, and eventually take on the NYC Marathon in 2017, I would have called you a liar. But running has made all that possible. And I wouldn’t trade it all for the world.
How about you: why do you think running is the worst – or the best?