In my personal and professional life, I find myself fascinated by the things that make us whole and complete. Running is one of many outlets that can provide a sense of purpose or wholeness, especially in combination with balanced nutrition, soul-care, a supportive community, and meaningful work.
We all know the many physical benefits of running… gaining health and fitness, maintaining a healthy weight, building strength and endurance. But I want to explore the inward benefits and outreach potential of running.
One of my goals for 2012 is to explore how we run with purpose, or the ways we can find greater purposes in our running, and I would love to feature your stories and examples.
A bit of my story: Part of what got me hooked on running were the therapeutic side effects I experienced while processing my dad’s MS (Multiple Sclerosis) diagnosis in the spring of 2000. I’m not even sure I could have put it into words at the time, but in hindsight, it’s obvious that the distraction of training for my first half marathon and the thrill of crossing the finish line gave me a sense of purpose and accomplishment that could translate into other areas of my life. As I’ve continued running, I’ve found it has carried me through significant life changes, provides stress relief, and gives me a burst of endorphins that set the tone for a more positive outlook each day. I’m now running my first charity run at the Houston half to benefit the National MS Foundation, and am finding the whole process incredibly meaningful.
What’s your story?
Here are a few reasons we may choose to run, beyond the health and fitness benefits:
- stress relief
- grieving process/healing
- finding balance
- running community/identity
- building confidence
- consistency/strength during life transitions
- satisfaction of achievement
- positive energy and perspective for daily challenges
- self esteem/ self love
- character building/life lessons
- raising awareness/funds for worthy causes
- setting an example for spouse, family, friends
- taking care of self so we can better care for others
Can you relate to any of these? Would you add anything else to the list?
Would you be willing to share why you run in a guest post? I would like to write a purposeful running post once or twice a month, and would love to include your examples and stories. If you would be willing to share how running has been meaningful in your life, email me at peifer (at) gmail (dot) com or leave a note in the comments. You also don’t have to be a blogger to share!