Running is the cure for all.
Or at least, it seems I have made this argument many times over the last 25 years.
I started running in elementary school. It seemed to come pretty natural to me, more so than some others. From the time I was old enough to walk, I was running according to my parents. I remember being impacted by every runner I saw in movies or TV. Chariots of Fire. Rudy the Rabbit from Meatballs. Prefontaine. I loved them all. It also made me want to get out and run or race. We would set up foot races in the neighborhood, and they were glorious. Elementary track-and-field day…forget out it, I was excited for weeks prior.
I loved running and I loved racing.
I was a convert.
Over the years, it seems I have run in every mode, in places all over the country. Along the way, running and the community that embraces it has come to mean more to me that ever.
And sure, running isn’t really the cure for everyone. But it does seem like it has been the cure for everything, at least at one time or another.
You want to get healthy? Run.
You want to lose weight? Run.
You want less stress? Run.
You want to help recover from trauma? From a breakup? From sleepless nights? Run.
I’ve seen it all. And not just folks getting over things, but also folks trying to avoid things. Addiction, complacency, hereditary traits. Running can simply be a lot of things to a lot of folks. And it is more than just exercise.
There’s also the opportunity for connection.
As we see so often now, people want to connect with other people during exercise. Some find that in running. They run in pairs, run in groups, or have a regularly scheduled meet-up with some like-minded joggers.
And sometimes you are looking for a different kind of connection. One with no one around, no one talking. You get to just connect with the quiet, with the nature, with the trail or road.
Both are very valid and both can be found in this discipline.
Another great thing I have found about running is that the community around it, generally, is as supportive as any you will ever find. They will cheer you on regardless of what your 5K time is. They applaud you, whether you are doing splits under six minutes or you working on jogging your first mile without stopping. If you are doing 25K trail races and they are passing you at the 10-mile mark, they’ll pat you on the shoulder and utter, “Great job.”
If never fails.
Obviously, running isn’t for everyone. Some physically can’t do. Some just don’t want to do it. And maybe running isn’t really the cure for everything. But at times in my life, it sure has seemed to be.