Why Do You Run?

Why do I run? I’ve asked myself that several times throughout the year, but even more so in the last seven days while I’ve been fasting along with my church, Victory. We do this every year and I’ve always used it as a time to reflect on what I’ve done in the past year and my motivation to continue doing things from then. The fasting helps me reassess my relationship with God, with family and friends, with work, and with material things. In 2010 this website KikayRunner.com was inspired and created after such a fasting period and it’s been a blessing ever since. So it makes sense to dig deep into what motivates me to run.

Is it for personal fulfillment? Is it to inspire others? Is it for public accolade and recognition? Is it for God’s glory? Answering these questions at times throughout the year gives me a reality check and brings me back down to earth whenever I start losing my grasp on why I do what I do and start focusing on merely doing it (which makes it a soulless exercise).

I’ve heard that the running boom is somewhat losing steam; perhaps it’s caused by bandwagoners beginning to ask themselves why they run races and spend so much time, money, and thought life on it.

If you’re still running, ask yourself the question: why do you run? You can post your answer here below, or leave a link to your own blog entry if you think it needs more space. After seven days, I will select the most well-thought out answer and will award the writer ONE FREE REGISTRATION to any local race from February to June 2012.

Hope to hear from you!

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20 thoughts on “Why Do You Run?

  1. i run for myself and to inspire others. to inspire them to dream. that when you dream something for yourself theres no other way but achieving it. just like in running…when you start doing it theres no other place but the finishline. =)

  2. I run for a number of reasons:

    – to stay fit (I am out of shape and this is the simplest way to lose weight and shake of excesses from my body, and I think I am able to see the results)
    – running, for some reason, helps me think clearly
    – it’s fun, especially when I do it with my friends :)

  3. I run to be free. Everytime when I put one foot ahead of the other, there’s freedom; of choice, of thought. It’s the time that I get to focus on myself – that freedom to have bold ideas. It frees me from the world and makes me focus on my inner strength.

  4. Way back I don’t have a reason for myself it’s just to encourage my husband to exercise but lately we decided to take it seriously and we read running tips from the internet and running as often as we could.Now we are reaching our target times and paces. But now I realize the true reason why? This is a thanksgiving to the Lord. How amazing He is to give me the capability to run. Every gasp of air came from Him. The strength He gave me to endure long runs and all of it.
    Whenever I cross the finish line or finish my run, I know He is at my side, We did the race together.

    In running, every step is a celebration. A celebration of God’s goodness and grace and How awesome He is.

  5. The best thing that happened in my life when i started running is that I’m always happy :) & feeling less stressed. I’m more focus on the task at hand instead of being worried or stressed about work, family or other stressors in my daily life. And there’s a feeling of accomplishment by completing the run which shifts the focus on my attention from negative stressors to a sense of pride and accomplishment.

  6. at first I run to lose weight. I was a 200 pounder before. I was able to shave that to 160. Now I run because…. i just dont know… I guess I call it passion. Another term is addiction! Rub strong run long!

  7. Why do I run? I am a beginner when it comes to running with only 184.5 km conquered. My running started with curiosity of why hundreds if not thousands of people go out every weekend, very early in the morning and meet at a venue to spend a minimum of 30 minutes to 3 to 4 hours(for long distance runners with warm up on the side) just to run.

    What I discovered? Running isn’t simply a sport…it grows on you. The first three runs was for the fun of it…and yes! Finishing a 5k run, grabbing all those freebies and having your picture taken with your buddies made it a “fun run” all right. The next couple of runs is challenging yourself if there is more to it than just fun…so you double the km and feel the pain the very next day telling yourself…why the heck did i do that?! The day ended with you picking up the phone, calling a masseuse and praying that you can get back to normal the following day. NOT!…but you’ll get the hang of it. Several runs after, you tell yourself again, there is something else i’m seeking…i’ve done 10km, why not try and amaze myself by doing a 16km or half mary…and so i did. With these long races, the fun stopped…but something better was in the end of every race. THE WALL! This would probably be every runner’s nightmare. Personally, this was my goal…to overcome every wall i encounter. In the three 21km races I’ve done for 2011, it blocked me each and every race…how i got through it was even better. All i thought about were all the people that inspired me all my life…mostly, my family and friends. This is when I discovered that running ang loving is the same thing. You have to love to be able to run, in return, running makes you appreciate that you have people to love, a life to live and time to celebrate. This is why i run! …and well, the medal and free shirt doesn’t hurt. ;)…A full marathon for this year? One LOVE!

  8. I run to win. Whenever I go out there and run, I feel like a winner because: 1) I am able to accomplish what I have set myself to do, 2) I am a step closer to my health and fitness goals, 3) I am able to conquer my nasty habit of oversleeping, and to be able to: 3) do more for myself, hubby and especially my daughter, and 4) to run more, farther, longer in this lifetime.

  9. WHY DO I RUN?
    I run because……
    Running makes me a GREAT person

    G – oal-oriented. Always with a positive vibe that no matter what happens, I WILL and I CAN make it to the finish line.

    R – each out and help as many people as I can. It’s not just about the Personal Record (PR), the miles and the freebies. It’s actually about the fact that with each run that I accomplish, I make another person happy by giving them a chance to live a better life or make a change for the future generation of our country.

    E – xpanded my definition of FUN. As a runner, my definition of fun—which once have included amusement parks, tearjerker movies on DVD, and reading books —must be, well, let’s just say broadened and might include:

    Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to run 10 km
    Running in blistering heat
    Running in the rain
    Running in 500-meter circles
    Feeling as if your lungs are about to explode
    Paying good money for the privilege of turning your toenails black
    Any combination of the above

    A- ddicted to the Outdoors. Enjoying some fresh air while getting your body pumped up during a run is always a treat for me.

    T – rained for life. When one becomes a runner, one commits to good health. It takes a lot of patience, endurance, motivation and training to cross every 3k, 5k, 10k, 21k, 42k or even an ultramarathon finish line. As they often say, running is not a sport – It’s a lifestyle =)

  10. When i started running a year and a half ago, i could not even finish 200 meters without gasping for air. Now, 40lbs lighter and able to withstand running straight for 3, sometimes 4kms with even breathing, i think its more than passion that makes me go on and run. I think running is a state if being, when the whole world fades away and your vision becomes clearer, the air crisper, the sun on your skin life-enahancing.

    I’ve run through stiffling heat, 0 degree temperatures, in rain, wind and snow, literally. I’ve run through injuries, amidst marching people, chased by rabid-looking dogs and fanatical men practicing golf swings on the street. I’ve run at 2am and i’ve run at high noon. I’ve run in several countries. And i’ve run mostly alone. Haruki Murakami is right to say that running is a solitary occupation. I’ve joined my first race just September last year and i never ran to win. People say i’m crazy, and maybe i am.

    But running for me is being transported to a different plane where your only rival is yourself. I repeat to myself, just one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other. Running makes me tenacious. It gives me patience. It makes me hope and dream. It generally makes me a better person. This is why i run.

  11. “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” -John Bingham

    I run because it makes me happy. I will keep on running until the day it ceases to bring happiness.

    Pouring out one’s reasons for running is hard. Like a confession, it is personal. Some may not understand, some may not care at all, but it is my hope that in some way people will discover the right sport for them as we runners did, whether it’s running or something else.

    There are a lot of reasons why people get into running: to lose weight, to heal a broken heart, to overcome an adversity; some run for fitness, some – a combination of different reasons. The reason why I found my self running I guess is a combination of different reasons, too. But if I were to choose just one reason, I think it is because of this: “Running makes me happy.” Whenever I see people running, I’m like a child in awe. It’s like a circus show, a cotton candy, a balloon, and all the things that can make a child in me amazed and inspired. When I’m in a park, a track oval, a race, anywhere where people are running, it’s almost as if I can absorb other people’s happy auras. The happiness running brought to my life changed my life in ways I never imagined possible.

    I was insomniac ever since I can remember. The long nights were endless and the mornings were torture. I was a zombie throughout the day and an owl at night. Through the years I’ve tried to cure myself of this curse. Milk, listening to soft music, beer, sleeping pills, counting sheep, nothing worked – not until I tried running in the morning. I resolved to buy the largest, loudest alarm clock at SM; I have resolved to set it up at five every morning and told myself that no matter what, I will run. Running at a regular schedule brought my sleeping patterns back to normal, the quality of my sleep has tremendously improved, sleeping on time became easy, and mornings have become as beautiful as ever before. Sunrise. It is glorious. For me a single sunrise is better than a hundred sunsets.

    Running also showed me what commitment is about. Before I was running, I was scared to commit in anything. I was afraid to pour in my heart into something. It seemed to me that every goal was the ultimate end. I just wanted to finish a task for the sake of just finishing it. I never poured my heart into my work. I just wanted to be in the background. I hated groups, I hated organizations, I hated any institution that required sticking around. But when I discovered my love for running, I realized that commitment isn’t that hard if you’re doing something that makes you happy.

    Just like in running, I realized that commitment isn’t a goal but a journey. It is doing what makes you happy daily (with regularity). Just like in running, where the finish line is not the ultimate reward, the prize in commitment is the belief that it makes you a better person – the belief that you are part of something larger, a bigger plan, something really important, and you are happy fulfilling that plan as a journey. In other words, running helped me discovered the beauty of living in the present, living in the “now.”

    Running has changed my perspective ever since, I started watching out what I eat, I started looking after my health. I started to be more understanding and more spiritual. Running trained me to endure more physical and mental stress. The sense of regularity and rhythm that comes with my running allowed me to think more clearly and more efficiently – which translates to better performance at work and in school.

    God has blessed me with two legs, two lungs, one heart, and two eyes with a vision; and each stride is like a prayer of gratitude for all the blessing God has given me. Everyday, at five in the morning, I wake up, lace my shoes, and jog my self to church to pray. Running gives me something to look forward to. Running pushes my limits, works out my endurance, speed, and gives me direction. There’s nothing quite like it. I believe it is worthy pursuit – it just makes me feel more alive. Running is love that grows in time.

    The prize in running in my book, isn’t medals, personal acclaim, cash prizes, personal records, loot bags, running with celebrities, no it’s not. For me, running is the prize itself. And realized that fact, brings joy to my life.

  12. I run not only to myself, But i run with a purpose. i run for my family to my children to my diabetic mother and to all beneficiaries of Running event to give them a strenght to be come healthy children and don’t give up. through my running i feel that God will streghthen them.

  13. I run for health. I’ve been running for 3 years now mainly for wellness. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer a few years back and thank god survived it. From then on, I’ve been looking and trying sports that can help me live a healthy lifestyle. But when a friend introduced me to running, I was in love for the very first time. It gave me freedom, the road felt like a sanctuary to me. Yes, running is tough but I felt peaceful when I run. It is painful often times but that is where I find fulfillment. Running is indeed a great metaphor for life as they say. I am whole because of running, it is not just a passing fad for someone like me, running is like a prayer – giving thanks to god everyday for this wonderful life.

  14. I run to live long. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to live together with your family
    to care for them and to bond with them.

  15. I run because I was not an active person during my childhood days. I didn’t even became a varsity athlete of a school. The second reason is that high blood pressure runs in my family. My mother and her siblings have common denominator in all of them – hypertension. I know that day will come to me but I know I can prevent while I’m still young. I just seriously running around 2yrs. ago. I had just run my 1st marathon and it was a great test of endurance for me.

    Running lessens my frustrations and also my depression. It also let’s me focus on the things that I do. Physically my waistline is now size 29 from size 31!

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