Running is The Best Therapy

I’ve heard a lot of people say that running is the best therapy. They’ve done studies and focus groups about how the endorphins help alter your brain chemistry for the better and help you stay motivated, blah blah blah.¬†And they’re totally right. Runner’s high is one of the best feelings there is. What I love, however, is when I’ve invited friends to come running with me who swore they weren’t into running and didn’t understand the whole ‘running scene’ and the culture around it.

Let’s take Ricky, for example. Ricky is 31 and in pretty good shape on his own. Before we started running together, he would run 2, maybe 3 miles to help work out restlessness from being at a desk all day, but never thought of himself as an ‘avid runner’. The races and the culture around competitive running weren’t his ‘thing’, it was just something he did to work out some energy. I talked him into being my running partner and he’s been going with me for the last 4 months or so. Because he’s so dang competitive (which is good in this case), in that time, he’s gone from the 2 or 3 miles he was doing on his own to doing 4-6 miles almost daily, to his first official race (10K Freedom Run), to running the longest distance he’s ever completed (a full 10-mile run with only a few short walking breaks) and keeping a pace of 8 min/mile or better. In four months. I know, right?

Running itself has always been my therapy of choice, especially when life gets tense. And don’t get me wrong, I totally love watching my own miles stack up as I track them online and the buzz that comes from crossing the finish line. But even more than that, helping someone go from ground zero to catching their first runner’s high ever and seeing them push themselves in ways they didn’t think were possible.. THAT.. is the best therapy.

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