As I struggle with various injuries (tendinitis, plantar fasciitis) and spend hundreds of dollars on physical therapy, I have been asked, and asked myself, that question. PT would be completely unnecessary if I started cycling, elliptical-ing (?), swimming, playing sports, barre classes, boot camp. The list of activities that I can do without injury goes on and on. I suppose the repetition of some of them would eventually cause injury. I do know for sure that swimming would not, as I spent 3 full seasons on the swim and dive team in high school.
I was answering one coworker about the progress of my PT appointments when another coworker started lecturing me on how bad running is for you. It’s bad on your joints, tendons, bones, etc. We’re not meant to do it. There are many other things I can do. Etc. Etc.
I didn’t have the energy to expound on the benefits of running and the fact there is a man who has averaged 7 miles per day since 1964 and he’s fine. I just replied, “I like it and keeps me in shape.” This was met with more argument about other forms of exercise. Luckily I had a meeting to go to and excused myself.
I hate it when people get really antagonistic about your lifestyle and choices. While I was running yesterday (and counting down the seconds til the end of each 2 minute interval…it felt torturous), I did think more about why I run:
The Spartan Race
This was initially why I started running. I HATED running. But I wanted to challenge myself and accomplish something and feel independent and confident, even though I write super long run-on sentences. I chose the Spartan race and foolishly thought that the hardest part would be the running. My only goal was get up to 2-3 miles so that I could complete the race.
I did complete it. I did not run the whole thing, but that wasn’t the problem. Fucking burpees are the problem.
I continued running (and started doing burpees) because I wanted to do another Spartan race.
It’s more convenient to get in my workout right from my apartment before I shower. No travel time, gym bags, showering twice a day, getting home late. It energizes me in the morning, puts me in a good mood. I arrive at work feeling confident and accomplished.
Until I live in an apartment building with a gym (or if I’m dreaming big here, a house with a home gym), running is the easiest thing. And if you’re already doing something hard (exercising), why not make it the easiest it can be?
Last spring, I decided to make a concerted effort to lose weight. Running’s my main form of exercise. I started a 10K training plan, not to run a 10K, but to give some structure to my training. Something to strive for. Then I was sidelined by shin splints and tendinitis, but you know that already. Until that point, running was helping me accomplish my weight loss goals.
It’s Good for Me
Reduces mortality rates and risk of cardiovascular disease, it’s NOT actually bad for your joints, lower risk of breast cancer, etc. Yes, these are all from Runner’s World and I’m sure there are counter points to all of these, but I do truly believe it is good for me.
I Can Stick With It
Running is the first time I’ve ever stuck with something I didn’t like. Growing up, I quit any sport that didn’t come naturally to me. Running is the only thing I’ve ever put in the effort to slowly, but surely improve. It’s the only thing I’ve kept trying at without the prodding of a coach or boss or boyfriend or parent. That, in and of itself, is something that makes me feel proud and that’s a feeling I want to hold onto.
So, I will keep pushing, keep trying, keep being patient, and most importantly KEEP RUNNING!