Why do you run?

  • This was printed in December of 2013 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 32nd installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

A couple of weeks ago my coach told me he runs “because I can, and for those who

can’t… I think of a kid diagnosed with some incurable disease who will never get a

chance to experience what we take for granted.”

It got me thinking… why do I run? Why do you run? Why does anyone run?

So I did what any good journalist does. I investigated. I asked every runner I know one

simple question: Why do you run?

As I expected, some answers were short and witty while others were long and heartfelt.

But all of them were relatable. Over the next several weeks I’ll share with you the

reasons why people run. Maybe one — or several — of them will inspire you to run

yourself.

I’ll begin by sharing the opinions of some fellow Maderans. Here are the responses of

several women who make up the Madera running group The Finishers.

For Audrey Crow, running is her one-on-one time with God.

“It gives me peace and I feel good about myself when I’m running,” she said. “I love

looking at the stars, trees, and just his creation. I’m his creation too — he gave me two

healthy legs to run with and I’m not taking them for granted. I praise him in my run and I

release his glory in my run. No matter where I am, He’s with me. He gives me strength to

finish the race he’s laid before me.”

Other Finishers agree:

“I run to relieve stress, have alone time with God and to challenge myself. It’s just a great

natural high,” Kathy Rodriguez-Mendonca said.

Danielle Porter added, “I feel good when I run and I learn a lot about myself and what

God is saying. It’s really the only time I have to think, feel, and just be without any

interruptions.”

Michelle Gonzalez said, “I run to release stress and to be alone.”

“It makes me feel alive!” said Barbara Leach. “I never regret running even if it’s hard and

it hurts, but always regret skipping a chance to run.”

Flora Falcon Munoz said, “I run because I love to exercise and running gives me time to

clear my mind. It makes me feel like I accomplished something good because I finished

something I started.”

Fellow Finisher Melissa Nassar also said that running makes her feel good and gives her

time to be alone (notice a pattern?) “It is a stress reliever and I agree Flora — it’s also a

sense of accomplishment,” she said. “Setting goals of all sorts and meeting them feels

good!”

Lovina Arter, another Finisher, said, “I run for many reasons. I run for health. Our joints

are made to move. They work better when I have been running. It’s good for my heart and

lungs.”

Arter also agreed with her running buddies — running gives one time to reflect. “I run

because it helps me stay focused,” she continued. “I run to relieve stress. I run because it

helps me set and accomplish goals. I run because it feels so good and it’s my only ‘me’

time!”

(It’s a wonder that these women run together because all of them call running their

‘alone’ time.)

Barbara Woodard said, “It allows me peace of mind. I run to find peace in what’s

happening in my life and find the time that I need just to myself.”

My favorite answer came from another Finisher, Tera Booker Napier: “To eat!”

“Really, it’s to eat and still fit in my jeans!”

I’ll have to agree. It’s pretty awesome to be part of a running community that doesn’t

mind scarfing Christmas cookies, fudge and tamales during the holidays. We’re going to

burn it off anyway!

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