I had a feministy, trans-positive post about selfies planned for today, but, seeing as how it’s NATIONAL RUNNING DAY, I’m going to postpone that until tomorrow. Instead, let’s talk about why I run and what I love about running, shall we? Just a quick list…
- The community is amazing. This is going to get an entire post soon, but the running community is simply the best and it’s provided me with some pretty awesome new friends. Hands down, it’s the most supportive and inclusive community I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been a part of communities that have claimed to be inclusive and supportive, but the running community is the only one that delivers. When we run races, we encourage each other and look out for each other. We don’t see other runners as competitors, we see them as our teammates. Yesterday, when I tweeted that I had zero energy to do my run and was thinking about skipping it, I got a ton of people encouraging me to get out there and run. Without them, those five miles wouldn’t have happened. And even as a transgender woman, I feel incredible support and inclusion from runners in a “um, of course you’re a woman! How could anyone not think that?!” kind of way.
- I love the solitude and being offline. I love that I, when I’m running, I get to just be alone with myself and my thoughts. I get to enjoy being alone. I’m disconnected from everything else in the world. There is no Twitter or Facebook to keep up with, no blogs to read, and no other people that matter. I get to lose myself in my head. I reflect on things that are bothering me or have been happening recently. I get to work through things without distraction. I get to enjoy me.
- It’s as easy or as hard as I want it to be. I get to control how easy or hard running is. If I’m in the mood for something light and fun, I can do that. If I want to go out there and push myself to run as hard as I can, I can do that too. No one else has control over this except for me.
- I can push myself to be better. I get to set my own goals and chase them. I can always push myself to be better, there is no ceiling and no one else can stop me from my goals.
- There are endless challenges. Running will always been challenging. From trying to push for faster times or longer distances, there are always going to be new goals to set.
- It feels good. Running simply feels good to me. It isn’t always a depression-killer, but it has pulled me back from being suicidal more times than I can tell you. It feels good to get out there, move the legs, and get the heart going.
- I feel badass when I get to say “yeah, I run marathons. NBD.” While, I don’t, in any way, think it makes me better than anyone else, it’s kind of cool to be able to say you run marathons for fun. I feel hardcore.
- Staying in shape and healthy. Running helps keep my weight manageable, especially after being on hormones which typically cause weight gain. I still weigh more than I’d like to, but I weigh a lot less than I would if I didn’t run. It also just keeps my body healthy and provides me with constant exercise.
- Food and beer. Sure, I don’t get to eat all the things and running certainly causes me to be hungry all the time, but I get anywhere from an extra 500 to 2,000 calories a day for food and beer. And, you know, I really, really like beer and food. Like, a lot.
- Carbo-loading. Yes, yes, I know, I already said food, but CARBS! BAGELS! PASTA! YUM!!!! Like, when else besides when you’re carbo-loading for a marathon is it perfectly acceptable to eat all the food in this picture just for lunch?
I could go on and on about my love of running, but these are probably my favorite things about running. I love this sport.