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April 17, 2014

Why I Run (& no it’s not to lose weight). ~ Stephanie Johnson

U.S. Navy

I was once asked why I run.

I am naturally quite slim and don’t need to lose weight. The person asking me couldn’t fathom a purpose of running outside of weight loss. 

Put simply, I run for my life, to improve the quality of my life in almost every way.

I run because I am chasing the endorphins, that rush of energy and flow of positive feelings that re-energize, reawaken and leave me feeling elated. There have been countless evenings where I have finished work and wanted nothing more than a hot chocolate, good book and inviting couch, yet I have put on my joggers and pounded the pavement.

Without fail, within five minutes I have felt completely re-energized.

Contrary to how it might sound, I run to gain energy, I run to be revived. I run as a type of meditation.

My legs pound the pavement, my shoulders hang gently relaxed and I am completely focused on my breath, my heartbeat and my body. I feel the sweat trickling down my forehead and a cool, sensual breeze on my face.

For the time I run, it’s me, my body, my breath. It’s moving meditation, a flow that once you get into is too intoxicating to stop.

I run to contemplate my day, my life and my future. When it’s me and the pavement, there are no lies, only solutions. So my career, relationships, family, friends and goals are all examined with a critical and yet non-judgmental eye. I run to solve my problems. I run to make my life better.

I run to live better.

When I run, my appetite increases. My stomach rumbles and I feel in tune with my body and can nourish it accordingly. When I run, I sleep more deeply, my tired body finds a match in my bed and my body is given deep rest to recover, refresh and rejuvenate.

Sure, weight management is an added bonus, the sweet chocolate dusting a cappuccino. Not enough to make you buy a coffee, but a lovely little bonus. The real benefits are so much more.

I encourage everyone, whether you’ve tried it before or not, whether you’re fit or not, whether you’re a couch potato or an Olympic athlete: go for a run, gentle jog or even a power walk.

Feel your body, your breath, your heart beating in your chest. And run for your life.

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Apprentice Editor: Bronwyn Petry/Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Flickr

 

 

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