I asked this question last week and was amazed at the many reasons we have for why we run. My answer has certainly evolved over the last 20 years from when I started middle school cross-country running to now racing marathons and coaching athletes, but my fundamental reason has remained the same.
I run to test and expand my physical and mental limits. I run to let go of the mundane and connect with my thoughts, developing a self-awareness of who I am and what I want to achieve. Every time I conquer my only competitor, the little voice telling me to quit, I become a more confident, passionate, and disciplined person. I run to replace any weakness or ignorance with strength and consciousness. In life, there are many obstacles, but as I keep running, I know I can triumph over any hurdle. I hope to always run and always run knowing why.
I am including below several of the responses I received - thank you for sharing why you run!
For many of us, running is a form of meditation:
The meditative nature of running extends to its simplicity:
And Patrick's thoughts are echoed by his daughter Celine!
We evolved as humans largely because our ancestors survived by out-running animals. Each of us was born with the innate ability to run. And as a result, it's only natural that running helps us understand our minds and bodies better:
Running also helps us understand others better:
And regardless of our abilities, running can make each of us feel on top of the world and find meaning in life:
And finally, we run because we can. From my experience as an Achilles guide and running in the 2013 Boston Marathon, I remind myself that every mile is a gift. Every finish line is a gift. Knowing that we don't know when something will be taken away from us. Being grateful for every step we take: