I hate running.


I want to enjoy it.  I want to be one of those people who run to clear their mind and feel free.  But I’m not.  This is what’s going on in my head when I run:

  • Am I almost done?
  • This sucks.
  • I should be folding laundry now.
  • Am I almost done?
  • I think my elbow is sweating.  Is that even possible?  Can elbows sweat?  Because I’m pretty sure my elbow is sweating.
  • I should be unloading the dishwasher now.
  • Why am I always the one unloading the dishwasher?
  • Am I almost done?
  • This sucks.


So why do I run?  This is why: my body and mind beg me to run.  My body and mind need me to run.  Let me explain.  I signed up for my first 5K in two years ago.   I was scared to death but I decided it was time to lose the “baby weight” and I thought if I signed up for a race, I would be committed to actually doing it and therefore I needed to train.  So I got on a treadmill and started to run.  And I hated it.  But I kept doing it.  Then the day of the race came.  It was March and about 30 degrees.  As I was waiting to start the race it started to snow.  What the heck was I thinking?  There’s no way I’m going to survive.  Well, I ran the race, and not only survived, but did better than I expected.  Seeing my results later that day gave me a sense of pride that I’ve never felt before.  I can do this.  I can actually do this.  So I signed up for another 5K.  And another.  When the weather got warmer I started running outside.   I lost the baby weight.  I gained self-confidence.  After having Baby #2, I got my butt back out there and started running again.  I was so proud of myself.


Then a few months ago something happened.  I became lazy.  I stopped running.  I had a million excuses: the holidays, winter, sickness, I don’t have the time, it’s just not that important.  I promised myself I would get back out there in the spring.  Yeah, the spring.  I promise.


My body and mind disagreed.


After the fourth (or fifth?) night of petty arguing with Hub, he asked me when I worked out last.  I told him I just didn’t have the time anymore.  I started listing the excuses and he interrupted me: leave the house a mess, don’t worry about dinner and don’t finish the laundry.  Start running.  He knew I needed it.  Not only for my body, but more importantly for my mind.  Something happens after I run.  I hate every second of it, but when I’m done I’m happy.  Less stressed.  At peace with myself.  And it’s not just imagined.  Exercise increases concentrations of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, chemicals that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. (check it out)


So two days ago I started running again and after just TWO days I feel a difference.  I can think more clearly and deal with my everyday life better.  As a whole, I am just better.


I don’t run fast and I don’t run for long distances.  I do run often.  My body needs it.  My mind needs it.  And this is why I run.