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Running Toward Your Best Self: The Journey to Becoming a Better Human: Part 1

pondering what the benefits of running are in the middle of a bunch of people running
A man contemplating life and where running can take him

Running is an act that we all enjoy when we are children. If you can find a kid who doesn't like to run, please let me know, my email is

Running is a beautiful act of poetry in motion, our body is propelling forward on a rock that is spinning at an unfathomable amount of speed while we get from Point A to Point B. Running is something that is natural to human beings and it unlocks pathways in your mind that is something beautiful. As we get older, the thought of running is laughable, scary, and some people would rather do public speaking than go for a run. Since I became a personal trainer, I've asked myself for years, "why are people scared of running?" I've asked plenty of people what makes them scared of this act and do their best to explain it to me. I'd like to share some of these answers with you and of course, I'd like to my thoughts on this.

Now, I'm not here to convince you to become a runner, I don't care to change your mind on what running is to you but I'd like you to find some of your own answers and get curious about if these are your own answers or your environment's beliefs.

"I can't imagine running, my body hurts to run and I don't see why people think it's fun."

This is a very true statement, running is almost an act of self-inflicting pain and it does hurt. It can hurt your body because you are putting thousands of pounds of force into the ground just so you can get "fit." Your body isn't accustomed to these types of forces and it hurts in the moment, it can hurt after the run, and the idea of this is scary! I have days where the idea of this pain isn't temping but I know what's on the other side of this pain. We all know the grass is greener on the other side so ask yourself

"Why is their grass greener? Can I make my grass green too?"

Yes, it starts with taking your first step in your run. We all start somewhere and we all have a destination, it just takes some mental fortitude to take that first step. Does the idea of putting yourself in pain scare you? What if I said to you that your boss wants you to finish a project 3 weeks earlier than expected and you'll get a $5,000 raise next month? Would you make some sacrifices because you know what's on the other side of finishing this project? A lot of people would put themselves through that pain to get some extra money. You can apply the same question to your runs. On the other side of running is self-discipline, mental clarity, self-care, physical/mental strength, a good-looking body, an enhanced/stronger brain, and the title of being a runner. You can attach the benefits of the list above for hours to your life and I can guarantee that it is better than a $5,000 raise. Running hurts but the next time you do it, it won't hurt as much.

Running can be fun if you change your perspective to what's possible during your run.

Can you find somewhere new? Maybe run to that coffee shop you always drive by? What about checking out that new housing development down the street, can you run around to see what the new houses will look like? Where you live, you see your neighbors are putting up new Halloween decorations, spend some time to find out which is your favorite on today's run. Plenty of opportunities, you just have to sit and find out what your opportunities are.

" Running takes time, I have a full time job, family, and I want a social life! Running just isn't for me."

No one can deny that running takes time, it can take an hour to run a 5k for some. Plus I have to mention stretching, showering, and getting dressed for whatever is next for your day. A run is never just a run. You can ask yourself, "How do people train for a marathon? Where do they have the time?" Well, it takes self-discipline and time management skills to get into the habit of running. I like to spread myself out and take my time before during and after my runs. Running is an act of self-care, it elevates and stimulates my mind. I like to listen to books, podcasts, or my favorite music. I tend to reflect on my day or prepare for the day ahead, the one thing I absolutely hate is feeling time-restricted on my run. If I am restricted, I feel rushed and I do not enjoy the act of putting one foot in front of the other. I plan my day around running and if I go without running for 3+ days, I notice that I'm easily triggered by my surroundings or life choices. Since high school, I saw the correlation of how running was enhancing my grades in school and as I got older I saw how running became a part of my social life. When I lived in New York, I created a run club where I saw friendships flourish and relationships made. When I lived in Los Angeles, I joined several run clubs where I forged friendships that I hope to last a lifetime. It was a part of my routine to go run with Social Hour Run Club (SHRC) on Tuesdays and Saturdays. If work allowed, I'd join them for the weekly Nilly's Burger runs. I had a full-time job and a part-time job, I had friends and I made the time for this! At SHRC, people trained for marathons and meeting with people on the same path as you was refreshing and it's needed from time to time. My favorite part about SHRC, no age limit was provided, I saw parents pushing strollers, I met older gentlemen who'd tell me about their kid's weeks, and having SHRC was inspiring their own kids to go out for a run. So are you going to tell me that time is really a factor?

Running elevates everything in your life, not just your fitness. You build self-discipline and you are building a self-care routine. The founder of Nike, Phil Knight would go for 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) to decide on bigger decisions for the business, monks would use this to clear their minds and personally, I run to slow the world down. We have so many distractions around us so going for a run decreases my daily screen time, this alone is refreshing.

So I ask you, what stories are you telling yourself about running and why doesn't it fit into your life? Are they your own stories or is society narrating your life?


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