Why I Run

You might run for the thrill. You sail into the zone, keep on like you’re under a spell. I wish it came so naturally to me, wish these limbs would move with knowing.

I run because I was terrible at it. And I’m less terrible the more I do it. I run to silence the aspiration for what’s easy. To teach my body to endure, hold on just a little longer. I run to meet my weaker self head on – conquer her on strong legs Treadmill2so I limp less under my load. I sprint for the fullness of being alive because I often forget how to live. I remember the power of simplicity. I jog to find my pace and cadence. I run to take ownership of myself and to stretch my reserve. I run to claim every day that is mine.

I run because good enough isn’t good enough.


See me wrestle? Why I Sweat


144 thoughts on “Why I Run

  1. I think I understand, I wish I ran because it came naturally. Instead, I must really force myself. I still know it’s good for me.

    Without being too deep, try listening to audiobooks to make the treadmill less boring…

    • As a time nazi, I fill every crevice of my day. Most moments will find me multitasking. But tuning into your body makes for more efficient exercise. =) Misery (at least sense of inadequacy) loves company. Thanks for letting me know it’s a struggle for you, too.

    • That’s what I wrote in the Why I Sweat post last year. That I work out because I can, while I can. Do you walk for exercise? And is there something you seek to best yourself at?

  2. I actually run (not often enough) because I lost a good deal of weight and suddenly running became a thing I could do, and it’s awfully exciting to be able to break into a run after a life not being able to.

    • I’m far from the noble title of RuNNeR. This will disappoint you but I’m proud when I can eke out 2 miles. My threshold will not be as high as runners’. I just make sure to push myself beyond my own limit. I’m tempted to envy (of you). =)

  3. I’m so glad that you run, I wish that I could- I did in my younger days but my heart prevents that now.I walk on the treadmiil when my heart is in sync. Keep up the good work. It will make you stronger in many ways. ~yvonne

    • I told Ian just now I wrote in Why I Sweat last year that I work out because I can, while I can. We really have to listen to our body, too, as you say. What I pull off on the treadmill is less than a fraction of what runners do – but it’s what my body (and time demands) can handle. Thanks for being here, Yvonne. Keep walking (with your camera)!

  4. I can relate. I woke up this morning, my body said no, my mind said yes. Put on my running shoes, started the jog. My body protested. I reminded myself of the high and lofty reasons why I jog. My body protested. I rreminded myself that come summer, I would have dropped a dress size. My body complied πŸ˜‰

    There is something about the sea breeze in my face, the sound of the waves crashing, that calms my soul. I like that there are few of us out there at the crack of dawn finding our rhythm before the day begins.

    • That’s awesome, Timi. Every bit of it. Am jealous you can run by the water like that. The air, the sounds and your rhythm tuning into that of the waves all make for rockin’ holistic health. Of course I love how you conquer yourself in the process. You seriously look so lovely and fit in your pix.

  5. It’s my moving meditation. It’s my mind-body-spirit connection tune-up. It’s a way of getting into touch with something that I can’t quite find any other way. And I understand this more deeply now that I am sidelined with an injury. Oh Fates! I finally find the thing that calls to me and is snatched away (temporarily – stop being a drama queen Paul!) But I understand Diana – we all do. Or for anyone who gets their mojo from hot yoga, or swimming lap after lap or dancing. We all have that thing that seeks us, and we seek it. Sweat and pain and discomfort and freeing the spirit are all tumble dried together, somehow.

    Thank you for this – wonderful way to start my morning (and a coffee!)


    • Glad to know you even better, Paul – and so sorry about your injury. I know what that’s like, the frustration of something so close and yet entirely out of reach. I love this: “a way of getting into touch with something that I can’t quite find any other way.” Actually, running is not what seeks me or what I seek. That would be my writing. But you put well to bring clarity to the mystery that is running. I can see better why those who derive such satisfaction from it run. Helps them get in touch.

      “Sweat and pain and discomfort and freeing the spirit are all tumble dried together, somehow.” You said it – what I was getting at. Do you still do your coffee, days/mornings you can run?

      • Glad you mentioned the writing – that too touches something that nothing else can. I have always had writing and always will. That is something that I can go to at any time. No injury can stop me there.

        As for the coffee thing – absolutely I partake. I don’t eat or drink anything at least 30 min before a run. It’s a trial and error thing. If I eat too much or too soon, I feel bloated and lethargic. If it’s been too long since my last intake, I don’t have the energy. The only thing with the coffee is that I don’t have a whole lot, or else I have to plan a washroom break!

  6. Wonderful. I’ll think of you running while I am struggling with my push ups and other tortures in P90X, the fitness regime I use. It has gotten me in the best shape of my life, but skin still sags and bulges here and there. I accept that the elasticity of youth is gone (although I wouldn’t trade it with the mental suffering I endured at that stage in my life.) Wisdom for less resilient skin? I’ll take that trade and more.


    • *Grin* Ha ha yEs, ToRture!! I did my push-ups every other day this wk. Not a whole lot, but enough to build strength. Love the (sad) bit about the mental suffering. E, you are a lot healthier now than you were then! I see a lot of women start taking care of themself in their late 30s and their 40s. We really don’t see how short-lived our bloom is, how important it is to eat right and take care of ourself in our 20s when sun and gravity seem harmless.

  7. I run, too and I enjoyed reading your words, they are so rich with tenacity. Running for me is about healing the weaker pieces within. I also find running very meditative….connecting to my breath as I run while hearing the sounds of nature around me is very soothing and I feel I am able to really clear my mind and just be….Thank you for sharing why you run.

    • I appreciate your take on the writing here, Samantha. Love your testimony. =) Yes, I just said to Ray H in the comments that running mindfully (as opposed to listening to a story while running) makes for more efficient exercise. Sounds like you know what it’s about, and that you afford yourself some good ol’ fashioned holistic healing. Props!


  8. Really can relate to this, D. My biking takes me there, so does walking; which is maybe the more personal of the two for me. Great post…

  9. I can’t handle treadmills, D. And ever since running cross-country in high school, I haven’t been very fond of running. I do walk for some of the same reasons, however. I have a thousand foot climb in my back yard that provides challenge, exercise, and, most important to me… nature. –Curt

  10. I just started to run about 3 weeks ago. When I started I couldn’t even run for a whole minute without wanting to give up, now I completed my goal for the day of running every 7 minutes, walking for 1 minute in between for 32 minutes, Sunday it’ll be every 8 minutes. I feel alive when I run, like no on can stop me, I feel control, I feel amazing!

  11. “I run to silence the aspiration for what’s easy. To teach my body to endure, hold on just a little longer.” Oh, what a perfect sentiment, and I am grateful for the push I learned as a high school athlete. It has served me well in all of life’s tough and uncomfortable situations. I call it “digging deep” and it is a place you must find to know it is there and draw upon it again and again.

    • Simply love this coming from you, J. No wonder you can do what it is you do for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. I say with all respect: I am so proud of you. Thanks so much for letting me know how this post resonated.


  12. I particularly like the line, ‘I run to claim all my days.’ To keep your strength, and get stronger. It’s hard enough to do what you want to do without your body fighting you.

  13. Loved this. I took up running 5 years ago because maintaining a healthy weight became more and more difficult without it. I have already peaked. No more PRs in any length of race. But I keep running because I know mobility is a gift and I want to enjoy it. Thanks.

    • =) Great to hear of your discipline and taking ownership of the one body we’ve been given, Lon. Incidentally, I’ve noticed a major (disturbing) disconnect in pastors who can’t control their diet and weight. And a wonderful discipline that RuNs into their devotional life and ministry in those who exercise.

  14. Love this, although I’m not a runner, but a power walker and my chocolate lab, Copper, accompanies me…sometimes, I’ll jog, but he tends to want to lead, which isn’t what I want. I wish he would jog right beside me…sigh…still in training. πŸ™‚ Exercise makes us feel good, physically and mentally, and it’s a good attitude to keep at it simply because we can…there are many who wish they could, but physical disabilities prevent them…cheers to moving and Copper and I are about to walk. Have a lovely day!

    • Thanks for the peek at your own ritual of health, Lauren. I said exactly what you did about working out simply bc I can in the sister post Why I Sweat. Sounds like you’re off to a great start of a day.


  15. Thank you for sharing your sharing your reason for running. I am developing the habit of running because I know a runner is in me and I “must” see it come forth. Thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoy yours and look forward to enjoying your many other reads.

    • Thanks for sharing where you’re coming from in the running, JH. That is wonderful. I appreciate your efforts bc it’s obviously something you’re challenging yourself both in resistance and in the search for your own rhythm. Thank you for the follow. =)


  16. Excellent. Keep running. You meet your true self out on a hard run.

    I keep running because I met myself once, and I hated me…so I run longer and farther and harder to drive that me away.

  17. The last time I ran was during a game of cricket last month and I ended up with horribly cramped legs. That sent me down a horrendous road of shame. I was always the sporty kid and this wasn’t something I expected. I walk quite a bit but running is an all new level. Thanks for the reminder:D This makes me want to run my butt off!

  18. I wish I could run but I walk, fast, and I listen to my music while I do so. It’s the best therapy there is…and great for working out ‘stuff’ for want of a better word!

  19. I loved reading your reason to run! Running is challenging for both the body and the mind and we learn to push boundaries that we never knew we were capable of. The more we run, the better we become!

  20. I only run under cover of darkness, because frankly, I waddle like a duck! But I have running dreams, where I just go and go and it is effortless….feels amazing! I admire runners such as yourself. πŸ™‚

    • I do not deserve the title of RuNNeR. I’m on the whole other side of the running world. Mine is just an attempt to keep afloat, keep my body moving and training it to dislike it less and less. =)

      Seems that makes the two of us among the waddlers. =)

  21. Hello Holistic Wayfarer, long time no speak. I’m back after a few weeks out due to what is called inevitable happenings in life. I loved reading this and it is so transferable to other sports. I particularly find this relative to my cycling. I get scared to cycle because i feel unfit, however i cannot get fitter unless i push through and cycle. Keep on running!

    • Hello Matt, I’ve thought of you the last few weeks. =) Boy, do I know about life happening. I love what you say about the cycle of fear and victory over self in cycling.

      Thanks for the glimpse into your side of things!


      • Hopefully now a dark chapter has past in my life and light pierces through at the end of the tunnel I can speed my journey up the light by pushing on with my blog. I’ve just rewritten a tribute today that has been sitting in drafts for a month. For some reason it felt better to write it addressed as opposed to talking about my thank you in 3rd person. Keep up the good work my pen friend.

  22. Great perspective about why we run.

    For me it is way simpler. Running, simply put, makes me feel good. I have not bothered to find out why that happens. Is it the oxygenation? Is it the heart beat increasing? Is it…….. ? Does all this matter when you move out of that ‘Running’ space a more happier person than when you moved in? What says you?


  23. Diana, I like your last statement about good enough is not good enough. The spirit of always wanting to do better is what drives you on. If only more Americans (more of the world) would have that attitude of improving themselves instead of always wanting to point a finger at what they perceive to be inadequacy in others… Pointing makes the owner of the finger feel good. It gives them a sense of power. Pointing diverts the eye and the mind unfairly.

    One additional thought:
    The wisest man who ever lived said, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Ecc. 9:11).

    • We all know there are many Americans of great accomplishments who have chased their stronger self. But it does seem that many Asians as a whole have this drive. It’s very interesting. I always appreciate the higher wisdom you point us to, Beth. Thank you for being here!

  24. Ok, I have to confess, I don’t like running. However, I make myself run for about 10 minutes after my HIIT workouts at the end of the day. I actually appreciate my short runs at that time because I’m already worked up from my workout and it gets me out of the house at a time that is not-so-hot.
    I workout because it’s my healthy addiction. I could never give it up. I am certified in fitness and nutrition so it’s a huge part of my life.:-)

  25. Fairly new to running – took it up in April, and still have the days where I struggle, I feel a great sense of achievement when I run and am slowly becoming addicted to the high it all.

  26. Powerful post! It is inspiring! I don’t run. . . but I do relate to challenging myself and to facing hard things head on. I need to challenge myself more in the physical area though. And get outside and DO. . . more. . . thank you!

    • “challenging myself and to facing hard things head on.” What the post was really about. =) And yes, there is a most literal, obviously basic level at which we need to do this!

      Thanks for sharing.


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  28. Nice description. I enjoy the feeling that comes after a run. Like contentment.
    During a run I feel awake. Every organ, heart, lungs, leg muscles, arm muscles etc all working together.
    Much like you, I never appreciated running until later in life. Better late than never.
    Kipling’s poem “If” is like a runner’s anthem (to me at least).
    Your post reads like a nice poem also. Well done.

  29. You’re so right… I’m already trying to convince myself to go to bed early enough to get up and run in the morning. Running can be such a battle but it’s so nice when your mind wins out and you actually complete what you want to!!
    Also, I love your banner shot. Beautiful beach!

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