Monday 13 January 2014

Thoughts for a New Year: the five main reasons why I run

Every so often, I find myself pondering over exactly why I love to run. Over Christmas and new year these thoughts returned to me, and I just couldn't put them out of my mind until I admitted to myself what it is that keeps me plodding mile after mile. So, one very wet and cold day, when I was out with the dog on one of my usual routes near where I live, I let my mind wander to think it over and figure out exactly why I had turfed myself out of my warm house and into the harshness of a British winter, and here is what I came up with:

The five main reasons why I run.....

Reason 1: Freedom
Life is busy and stressful. Whether at work or at home, people, jobs and deadlines are constantly making demands on us and stressing us out. Once more, with the constant attachment to our mobile phones and other electrical devices we all now have, our mind never gets a chance to escape, become free, dream and think things over. With the modern demands made on every single one of us these days, freedom is very high up my list of reasons to get out for a run. It is often the only point in the day, from waking to sleeping, where I am truly free. Free from emails, phone calls, txts, the dreaded Facebook and Twitter, doing the housework, starting or finishing a job, getting to work...the list is endless. Treat yourself to some freedom and get out for a trail run when you can, and DON'T take your phone with you if you can help it. But if you need to take it for safety, switch it off, on aeroplane mode or even just on silent and ignore it!

Reason 2: Time to think and pray
As a Christian I believe it is a very good idea to spend time thinking and praying, thanking God for all the good things in my life and asking for help with things I am not doing so well at!!! Whether you believe in God or not, running is a fantastic time to just think and sort out things in your head. Get out there and freshen up your mind and revive your spirit! You learn a lot when you give yourself time to think.

Reason 3: Time outdoors in nature
There is nothing more soothing and relaxing than being surrounded by creation! Whether you come across a stag, fox or bird of prey, or whether you see the new growth of spring or the golden rustic colours of autumn, being outdoors and surrounded by nature puts things into perspective and wakens the senses, reviving your spirit! It's healthy to get outside and get some fresh air, and there is so much to see and discover. Beings outdoors and in nature is always an adventure worth living.

Reason 4: To get healthy and fit
For me, I have always been interested in, and seen good reasoning why it is important to stay fit and healthy. You only get one mind and body, and so it figures to take good care of it and keep it working properly. Although this was one of the original reasons I tried running in the first place, it has largely become a subconscious reason for keeping me going, as other, more prominent reasons such as freedom have surfaced over the years. However, even though it isn't necessarily a primary reason for keeping me lacing up my shoes at the moment, it does figure in my five main reasons why I run, and anyhow, it sure is a fantastic by-product of doing something I love!

Reason 5: To work on and achieve my goals
Without goals it is very hard, almost impossible, to monitor our progression and achievements in life. Sometimes, without goals, we feel we flounder through life and never really get anywhere. This has often been an issue in my life and left me feeling very unhappy. Therefore, I like to set myself goals each year, and quite often these involve running. This is a great way of getting you out of the door on the less-than-enthusiastic days we all experience from time to time. Not every run is goal focussed, not by a long shot. In fact, most of my runs are focussed around getting outdoors and feeling free from all that life throws at us each day, but sometimes I do run to work towards a goal I have set myself.

And there you have it; the five main reasons why I love to run. I would be very interested to know why you, my readers, love to run. Please feel free to share your reasons and experiences below in the comments section of this post.

I hope this year brings you peace, joy, happiness and freedom.....and plenty of running!


  1. Nicely put. In my own instance I would also add as a sub heading to the goals point, competition. I do like to push myself and I find that sometimes competition allows me to pushthe boundaries of my limitations a bit further. And I like that. :)

    1. Good point Forest. Competition certainly encourages us to push our limits. I think a healthy balance would be a mix of runs for competition and runs for getting lost in our own thoughts!