Why I Run: More Than a Hobby


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.

Running is my motivation to live a healthy life, and has meant many things to me over the years.

I grew up on a farm in a small town in northern Iowa. My lack of coordination prompted me to join the track team in middle school, and adding cross-country in high school. I wasn’t winning any races (or let's be honest, even running on varsity), but the experience created a positive lifestyle and lasting childhood friendships.

I ran a few local races for fun in college. After I moved to Illinois to attend law school, running was an outlet for stress relief and a break from reading case law.

When I moved to Chicago after graduation in 2008, I started running on leafy neighborhood streets and fell in love with the city for good. Soon this turned into meeting new friends for running dates on the lakefront trail on warm evenings after work, and training for longer races. I completed my first half marathon in 2010.

Last summer before our wedding, my now husband Kurt and I met with our officiant to prepare for the ceremony. She planned an interview to get to know our relationship.

One of the first questions was whether we had individual hobbies separate from each other. Kurt instantly thought of baseball - cheering for the White Sox and competing on fantasy baseball teams with friends.

The reverend turned to me, expecting a quick answer. My mind was blank and my heart started to race. I remember thinking I had to come up with something to show I had a personality!

Kurt noticed my discomfort, and suggested my favorite hobby might be running races with friends. I had never thought of this as a hobby before, but it was the perfect answer.

My next goal is to run a destination half marathon, even if it's just across the border in another state. Someday I would love to run a long race through wine country or along the beach in Hawaii. I hope this is a hobby I can keep with me for a lifetime.

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