I run because it feels good. It feels good to release the stress of a work day. It feels good to clarify my mind with a run where it's you and the outdoors to clear your senses as you breathe in air...oxygen to fuel the mind, body, and spirit. Some women run to have time away from being a mom, and enable themselves to be known by their first name rather than "___'s mom," or "___'s wife. I do not have children, but I run to also have that alone time from being the ever busy career wife, wife, or just busy woman. I run because it gives me a good feeling...runner's call it a runner's high where at some point in your run, you just forget where you are and feel as though you are just riding high on clouds without a care in the world. It's a good feeling. Running gives you a natural high feeling without drugs or alcohol. A running high replenishes your body, mind, and spirit with energy to carry you daily through good and rough times.
I also run for people like my maternal grandmother, aunts, and uncles who battled heart disease and diabetes. They died too young in their 50s and 60s from these diseases which can be controlled and sometimes stopped through a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercise. I run for women that I do not know who also battle these diseases. I run for African-American women who are more prevalent to heart disease and diabetes. I also run for women who are victims of domestic violence as I will this weekend coming up in a 5K to benefit women and their children of domestic violence. I run for these women to feel and be free in their lives, as I feel and I am free during and after my runs.
I run to challenge myself. I want to see what my body can do at age 44 and beyond as a vegetarian and a strong, powerful woman.
In the next couple of weeks after my 5K race to benefit domestic violence, I have a 10 mile race and a half marathon (13.1 miles). I have also registered for my first marathon (26.2 miles) which is held in March 2011.
In addition, I still challenge myself by hiking or backpacking on weekends in addition to running long distances every weekend, and running 3x during a regular work week. I run to challenge my body and mind. I run to challenge myself. I run for awareness in the community that a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle combined with regular exercise is vital for a strong and healthy mind, body, and spirit.
I run because of all of these things; but, most of all, I run because I Am.
Informational Note: Here's a great website formed by two women to promote running in the black community: Black Girls Run