Thursday, February 9, 2012

Running: A Social Sport

I'm not quite done with The China Study yet, but I thought we could all use a little break!

While I was out doing a long training run for the marathon I'm getting ready for, I thought about something someone said about running once. Someone told me that running really isn't a social sport, and that's probably why she never liked it. Running can definitely be a sport of solitude. It can be a time of reflection, prayer, stress relief, and thought. I have used running for these things many times. However, running is most certainly a social sport, if you want it to be. It is truly a sport of versatility.

A lot of times when I'm out running, I tend to see other runners over and over again. Even when I pass runners who I've never seen before, we always exchange a "hello", "good morning", "lookin' good", "you're almost to the top of the hill", or other tid bit of encouragement. When I go to the running store that I frequent, they often recognize me from my last visit and I often run into them (not literally) at local road races. It is always fun to see familiar faces.

You can also run with a friend or in a group. I have great memories of running with a friend of mine in college. I got to know her best during our conversations during early morning runs. My husband and I used to run together all of the time before we had kids, but now one of us has to watch the kids while the other one runs. Most cities have running clubs where people get together and hit the pavement. It is fun to enjoy something active with other people who live around you. The energy and passion for running is often contagious in these groups.

Lastly, running in road races is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. I love seeing the same runners over and over and enjoying the comradery. Everyone is sweating, working hard, testing their mental and physical strength, and celebrating at the finish line. I love the energy and excitement in races. Along the way, fellow runners cheer each other on and ofter encouragement when it is needed.

Running is truly an invigorating sport that offers versatility, stress relief, health benefits, comradery, achievement, and excitement. If you don't believe me, ask around to find a great 5K in your city. Try it and see what you think. You have nothing to lose but calories/inches from your waste!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a runner, but I do like to do walks that are organized in our city, and I find it to be a social outlet as well. I have walked with co-workers, friends, & family. At the gym I like to walk with intervals of running and that is usually a solitary activity, but no matter what it always makes me feel good. I always know that even if the number on the scale isn't budging I am getting plenty of health benefits from it.