As part of our “Run More, Worry Less” series, we featured several stories from our community about what running means to them. We compiled them into one place for you to visit when you’re looking for a boost of motivation.
At age 14, I had a 4/5 lung removal, and at age 16, a fundoplication. My severe acid reflux shot into my lungs giving me several cases of pneumonia. I am borderline asthmatic, with an autoimmune disease, and running is my ultimate, number one passion. Growing up doing sports, my surgeries put a halt on anything active for a few years. At age 18, I picked up the hobby of running, knowing I wasn’t the fastest and I’d always need an inhaler.
In 2017 I completed my first half marathon, then eight more between 2017 and 2019. In 2019, I participated in my first full marathon at the age of 27. I started trail running despite elevation gains. In 2020, I was honored to run the virtual Boston Marathon for CLIF around Cherry Creek Reservoir.
Running has taught me to be strong, patient, challenge myself, and push to be my best self every single day. I am incredibly grateful to have the ability to perform this sport and be surrounded by such a passionate running community.
Running has played an important role in both my physical and mental health. I’ve experienced several traumas in my 40 years, and it is running’s healing power that has helped me survive them. Not only that, but running tests me and challenges me. Each time I conquer a new goal or PR on my favorite route, it is a reminder of how strong I am physically and mentally. While running, I’m at complete peace. There is a pure beauty in being able to move your body outside in nature doing something you love. I feel fortunate for all the ways that the power of running has shaped both my physical and mental health.
Overweight, broke, and alcoholism were just some of the noticeable traits displayed primarily through depression, anger, self-doubt, and survivor’s guilt that I suffered with not too long ago. Running saved my life, literally, when a half marathon flyer blew onto my doorstep and this is where my path began, back in 2006.
Since then, I have used running as a natural remedy to battle all of these negative feelings, while exploring the world, meeting amazing like-minded individuals, helping others achieve their goals, and racking up a nice resume of accomplishments along the way. Let’s change the world together!
I started running after college as a way to reduce stress and move my body after starting a 9-5 job! I discovered that I enjoyed running, was pretty good at it, and over time the enjoyment turned into a passion. Running means so much more to me than it did 15 years ago. Running means freedom, joy, excitement, hard work, determination, grit, community, confidence, friendship, connection, and reaching new goals.
Whether I’m out for a casual run with friends or running a BQ marathon time, running remains the same. It’s my time to explore – explore friendships, explore nature and explore my greatest potential. Running is a gift and a gift I’m grateful for every day.
It is cumbersome to suppose what my life would be like without running. The world is a demanding, and life can be resolute. In another time, dope and liquor helped me sidestep the tough times, while simultaneously masking all the beautiful parts. That is addiction, and it had pruned me down to a sick and sad tree of a man.
In 2015, my habits proved too much to bear. I left the cave of my sickness, stepped foot into the light, and went for a run. My limbs came back to life. The roots of my tree burst back into the earth, and they turn tougher and climb deeper with every run. The process – slipping into socks, roping laces into knots, hearing the low beep of my watch – is still the best part of my day. My soul owes a thick slice of who I am to the gift of the run. Running always gives me what substance abuse had promised – freedom.
In the summer of 2012, my daughter asked me to run the CSU Homecoming 5k with her. I was not a runner and most certainly couldn’t run one mile, let alone three in a row. I didn’t want to let her down and although I was terrified, this was different.
Her dad had run this race with her when she was in college and now because of his progressing MS, he was unable to run or even walk 3.1 miles. My husband had been an endurance athlete. He was an avid cyclist and rode his bike 1000’s of miles every year. He raced in college. And now MS was robbing him of the ability to ride or run. Somehow, I knew in my heart that I had to complete this 5k. It would take hard work. I ran that race at CSU. I was 55 years old. That October day, Kaitlyn and I crossed that finish line hand in hand with tears running down our faces. I knew in that moment I would keep running. I have two good legs that work and I could not waste the gift of movement.
In March 2015, I weighed 375 lbs. I hadn’t exercised in years and I thought I’d never be able to lose weight. I decided to take charge of my life and get in shape and I lost over 200 lbs through running and with the help of Runners Roost. Five and a half years later and I am a 1:20 half marathon runner. Running has helped me to realize that we are capable of amazing things and anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
Thanks again for the wonderful submissions – we really enjoyed reading them! This community is what keeps us going.