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How Becoming the "World's Okayest Runner" Changed My Life

I have debated writing about my love for running because I constantly hear people talk about how off-putting it can be when social media posts revolve around the gym, or how much weight they have lost, etc. So, I am hoping this post doesn’t come across as me bragging about how many miles I have run this week (quite honestly, it hasn’t been many).

Last May I ran my first half marathon. Truthfully, some people could have run a full marathon in the time it took me to run my half marathon. But, crossing the finish line was one of the proudest moments of my entire life. For those of you that know me well, I am typically known as a “tennis player.” But when I began training for my marathon, I knew that this was something that would be a lifelong love for me.

Running gives a sense of peace that is difficult to explain, but I will do my best. It is a selfish 30-60 minutes that I can spend listening to my favorite music, inspirational podcasts, praying, spending time outside, all while doing something that is healthy for my body. No matter what kind of a mood I’m in, I know I will feel a little bit better after going on a run.

Now here’s the thing, YOU DON’T NEED TO RUN. But I would encourage you, during this time of uncertainty, find an activity that you love to do. With everything happening around us, the only thing we can really do besides sitting in our homes is to go outside. Therefore, I’d like to give you some ideas:

-Take up running if you want! (I consistently run a 10 to 11-minute mile, you don’t need to be super speedy to get the benefits. If I’m having a hard day, I even will take long breaks to walk. Do whatever is best for you.)

-Go on walks! (Nothing is better for the soul than a good walk. Especially when it’s with someone you love to talk to. If you need someone to walk with you after this whole quarantine is over, let me know!)

-Hiking! (Nothing better than exploring a new beautiful area, the Midwest has so many beautiful hiking trails)

-Stretch in the morning! (Simply taking the time to stretch your muscles does wonders for your body)

-Have a dance party!

-Play a sport! (I personally love racquet sports, but anything that gets you out and moving)

-Literally anything that gets your body moving and makes you happy!

Interestingly enough, my confirmation verse comes from Isaiah 40:31, “For those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Though I think that this verse has a much deeper meaning to our lives than taking up running as an activity, I truly think that the most precious moments I spend with God are when I can clear my head and go on a run. I like to think that when I get to heaven, Jesus and I are going to go on some great runs and walks together.

I hope this post encourages you and doesn’t make you feel like a slacker for not going to the gym or anything like that. Do what makes you happy, you’ve got this!

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