Warning! Unpopular opinion about running below

Running is one of the most rewarding sports

Haeleigh Bayle, Editor

When I say “running,” or any word related to it, most people’s brains immediately go to the agonizing feeling of running for long distances, the fatigue, nausea, lung-burning intensity, and all things negative. Even though all of those downsides go with running, I find it one of the most rewarding sports because running teaches you about yourself, what you’re capable of, and important habits.

Running most certainly is not one of the most favored sports. In fact, it is most every sport’s form of punishment. As a cross country and track runner, I do get slightly offended when people talk about how “horrible” running is. In all honesty, I believe running wouldn’t be so hated if people stopped looking at the difficulty of it and started looking at the benefits of it. Forming a running habit gives you an incentive to get your body into shape, and gives you something to look forward to each day (or even just a few days a week). When you begin running, jogging, or even walking daily, it increases blood flow and gets your heart going and getting stronger. Running also reduces your risk of a heart attack, which unfortunately, is very common. So why not start running if the health benefits outweigh the slightly sore muscles or exhausted feeling? Especially because those sore muscles will turn into muscle and you’ll ultimately feel stronger afterwards…which to me, is very rewarding.

Running also isn’t just about how you look on the outside, though it is certainly helpful in helping lose or maintain a certain amount of weight, it is also about your mental health. Running helps improve cognitive abilities, like memory. Having a good memory can be very helpful as you get older, and even at a young age. Running can help clear your mind, as well. Got a bad grade on a test? Go for a run to think about what you can do to get better, or just blow off steam. Going for a run, when stressed, can actually prove to be very relaxing, which I believe is why I like it so much. Many times I find myself running to ebb some stress from a day at school, and I always feel better once I do run. So really, there are so many more benefits and rewards to running than those few negatives.

When you’re running, it is very common to feel this exasperated, fatigued feeling, and want it to just be over. I am not going to lie and say the feeling goes away, because it doesn’t. But when you push yourself further than you thought you could handle and finish the run or race, you’ll find yourself feeling more confident and strong than you realized. Running teaches you that just because things are hard, they are not impossible. I think that with that known attitude from running, I am able to face every day knowing that just because things get hard, it doesn’t make them impossible. Running truly teaches you what you have in you, how far you can go, and that you’re stronger than you think you are if you believe in yourself. That, to me, is one of the most rewarding things about running because you can apply that knowledge to the simple things you do each day– like school.

Running creates a life full of good habits, which to me is very rewarding. Almost all devoted runners commit themselves to eating healthy, too. I know that eating healthy and running can really make one feel rejuvenated and ready to face the day. I see that energy and readiness in a lot of my family members and friends who run. So all in all, running is one of the most rewarding sports out there; not just because of health benefits, but because of the things it teaches you about yourself.

*Stay tuned for a possible new category on this site that gives advice/tips/info to new, old, and aspiring runners.*