I was tagged in a post on social media the other day which involved me doing something completely non running or exercise related. The first comment underneath was from a friend jokingly asking 'why are you not running Alice!?' This made me both smirk and also sink a little. Do people really think there is nothing else to me or my life except from putting on my trainers and running for miles?!
Obviously there is (well I like to think there is!), but at the same time running, training and exercise is undoubtedly a huge part of my life. I will admit sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed by this fact; should I really place so much emphasis on putting one foot in front of the other? But then why should I when running adds so much to my life?
I run for enjoyment; the struggles and the triumphs. I run to challenge myself; beating personal bests, testing new routes, trying new distances, setting goals and following training plans. I run because I respect my body; I care about my health and I value my fitness.
I run for my mental health; to help keep me sane, to relieve stress, to feel happy, to feel in control and to feel alive. I run for the freedom; the chance to explore and the opportunity to switch off my mind. I run for the memories; race days, runs with friends, new experiences, treasured moments and favourite photos. I run for the friendship; the laughter, the support, the understanding, the mid run conversations, the shared victories and that sweaty post run hug. This is just a list I have formed quickly off the top of my head – there is undoubtedly countless more points I could add.
So, perhaps the question should instead be - why are you not running?