It was about a year ago that I began running regularly. As I approach my 34th birthday I can say that I am in the best shape of my life. Not only am I physically able to do things I’ve never done (long distance running), but I’m feeling the benefits in other areas as well. Here are some of the ways running has changed my life in the last 11 months that have nothing to do with how far or how fast I can move.
- Running gives me time to work something out – Sometimes I just need 30-45 minutes to think. In a house with two young kids it can be tough to get some quiet time. Also, the change in scenery gets my creative, problem solving juices flowing. I can’t count how many times I’ve been stuck on a problem and come up with a solution after just a few minutes out on the road.
- Running gives me time to relax – Sometimes I need to do the opposite of thinking. A short run can be a therapeutic break from the busyness of the day.
- Running gives me perspective – Like meditation, there is a peace that can be found in a good run. It doesn’t happen often (for me), but there are times when I really connect with God out there. It’s funny though, I can usually tell if it’s going to happen within the first 2-3 minutes of my run. There have only been a handful of times I’ve hit the 8+ mile mark on a run…it’s always been one of those days that I’m connecting with God.
- Running gives me energy – Counterintuitive I know, but every runner will tell you the same thing. Sitting on the couch drains you, not running.
- Running gives me confidence – This may be shallow, but I think it’s true for all of us. We all want to be healthy and we all want to look our best. I can’t control what the good Lord gave me above my shoulders, but when it comes to the belly I’m in the drivers seat of how good I look. Also, seeing physical progress is a momentum building success that pours into the rest of your life. Lose 20 pounds and you feel like you can take on the world.
- Running is good for my marriage – My wife loves me no matter what, but when I get back from a run she looks at me like she did that first year of marriage. The more I sweat the crazier that look gets! Pheromones are a real thing.
- Running gives me discipline – I’ve never considered myself to be particularly disciplined. If I can stick with running (which I hate), however, then I can discipline myself in other areas as well.
20 days until my birthday. I said it a few weeks ago: I’m not the best I’ll ever be, but right now I’m the best I’ve ever been.