NBCChicago's Stride blog aims to cover Chicago's dedicated running and active lifestyle committee. We've asked some of those individuals to share with us their motivation for getting out there and pounding the pavement. This is why they run.
What gets people running is a type of motivation that is unique. Everyone has a reason, or a story, why they start running. Why I run can’t be captured in an epic, motivational image or quote that is posted on Pinterest. My reasons for running are simple, much like the sport itself.
I Run for Health and Fitness
Back in 2010, I rushed to the doctor for a painful bulging disc in my lower back. I was a mess. The reality was that I was out of shape and carrying too much weight.
My lower back was one of many health related issues. After receiving some blood test results, things looked even more grim. My cholesterol and triglycerides were so high that had my doctor suggested that I start medication if I couldn’t bring them down through weight loss, diet, and exercise. I knew I had to make some changes to make a difference in my health.
My story turned around pretty quickly. I got back into running. Prior to the build up of all these health issues, I ran off and on for years. I’d pick up running and then a find a reason to quit (boredom or injury). With a renewed purpose, I ran smarter and committed. I started small but over time my running ability improved. I lost weight, become stronger and faster, and most importantly improved my health.
I Run for My Family
The health issues made me realize that I want to be healthy for my wife and kids. I don’t want to complain or feel limited by my bad back, my weight, or other health issues.
I want to set a good example for my kids. They don’t necessarily need to be runners, but they should know that consistently exercising is important to maintaining a healthy life. Since my wife and I are both runners, I feel we laid some of the groundwork for what we hope is an active and healthy family.
I Run to Explore
One of the great benefits of running is that you can do it anywhere. The equipment is minimal and there are few limitations on where you can run.
Whether it’s a family vacation or work trip, running is possible as long as I find the time. When I find that time, what better way to get to know a new place than to run. San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Montreal, the Quad Cities, Fort Worth, Burlington, VT, New York City - these are all places I visited and also ran in.
Driving around in a car or taxi, you can see some of the city, but it’s more fun to explore by foot. You can also cover more ground if you’re running. Running allows me to have fun exploring a city that I’ve either visited many times, or might not visit again. Either way, running to explore makes a lot of trips memorable.
Why I Run
When it comes down to really understanding why I run, it’s a hobby that I can take with me anywhere and share with anyone - plus the benefits are amazing and fun too.