Friday, November 20, 2015

10 Reasons I am Thankful for Running

Running, Inspiration, Thankful, Gratitude, Holiday

November is a month that typically has us all counting our blessings and recounting what we are thankful for. It's full of food, fun and festivities.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought it would be appropriate, and fun, to share the 10 reasons I am thankful for running!

If you have been following Unapologetically You for a bit now, you'll already know that I have not always been a runner. Far, far from it. Think: overweight child who hated gym class and dreaded the timed mile.


As I got older I realized that running is not something to fear or dread. Instead it is something special to celebrate. Whether you are fast, slow or somewhere in the middle-- running is an incredibly personal sport that will truly change you from the inside out.

1. Clarity. In many ways running can be almost meditative. If you are a trail runner you can probably relate. A cool day on the trail, alone with your thoughts. You'll come out the other side ready to take on the world.

2. Community. There is nothing quite like it. Runners are an amazing group of people. I have met wonderful friends through running. I have bonded with strangers. I have encouraged others and been encouraged.

3. Strength. Running teaches you what your body is actually capable of. I never thought I could be a runner. I wasn't thin enough or fast enough. But once I started running I realized how strong I was. This body might not be capable of breaking any speed records, but it is strong enough to carry me over 26.2 miles. 

4. Goals. When I don't have goals I seem to flounder. Running gives me goals. Whether it's to complete a marathon, set a personal record or conquer a particularly difficult course-- I have something tangible to works towards. 

5. Passion. Growing up, I never really had a thing. I did things. I tried various sports and clubs. But there wasn't really anything that I was incredibly passionate about. Running became that thing. 

6. Giving Back. Like I mentioned, the running community is phenomenal. Runners give back to each other. I love learning from other runners and I love sharing what I've learned. 

7. Mental Health. I used to be a hot mess. I was so anxious all.the.time. Running has, quite literally, become my drug. I can't quite explain it. Maybe it's the endorphins, but for me running prevents anxiety. Not to say that I never get anxious going into a long run or a race, but it is not paralyzing sick anxious feeling I used to walk around with daily.

8. Physical Health. You often hear non-runners say "running isn't good for your knees" or other crazy things like that. Unfortunately, neither is being obese {I apologize if that offends anyone}. Any sport or physical activity has it's own inherent risk. But I'll take those risks. I have never been healthier than I am now, and I thank running for that. Not sure that you are physically able to run? Check with your doctor, then start out slow. Walking burns just as many calories!

9. Experiences. Running has given me so many life experiences. I've run Pikes Peak. I've run with the Marines. I've run in the City of Brotherly Love. I've run with Nick and Sarge. I've walked 5Ks with my family. I've traveled. I've seen neat towns, places and landmarks that I might never have seen without running.

10. A Platform. The idea of a blog never occurred to me until I had several people say that my running encouraged or inspired them. Running has given me a platform to build the Unapologetically You brand-- to share my first-hand knowledge and experiences, my successes and failures, my goals and dreams. Because of running I have been able to join this community of fitness and healthy living bloggers, I have made friends I never would have had, I have worked with some pretty neat brands. But most of all, I am able to connect with you-- the readers. I can provide you with practical advice and lessons learned, and I can cheer you on.

There are so many reasons to be thankful for running. It has become such an integral part of who I am that I can't image not being a runner. 

This year, as we head into the season of thankfulness, I urge you to take a few minutes and reflect on what you are thankful for. Jot it down in a journal or share it with a loved one. In a go-go-go society full of materialiasm and one-upmanship it's really nice to be still and practice gratitude for all that we have to be thankful for.


"Let's practice #gratitude this season. Tell me what you are #thankful for! #runchat #holidaysweat"

I'd love to be part of the special circle where you share what you are thankful for. Send me a quick tweet to tell me one thing you are thankful for this year.

Your turn! What are you thankful for this year?

♥AK