Why I Run
I don’t remember how, exactly I started running. It probably had something to do with peer pressure, running rampant through my high school at the time. I was so excited to come to practice with new running shoes, new socks, new shorts, and new shirts. I was so hopeful that running would be like what I saw on television; wind flowing through my hair, no visible sweat stains, beautiful sunny weather, perfect for pounding pavement. I was wrong. I hated it. I complained every single solitary second that my foot hit the pavement at my faster than walking pace. I kept coming though. Running sent an exhilaration through me that my pubescent body had never felt before. My lungs burned and my body ached, but I was healthy and happy. Happy. That’s all I wanted to be. I was diagnosed in ninth grade with Major Depression Disorder and it kept me eating and feeling sad. Sad for reasons, sad for no reasons. After running, however, I felt free. Even through all the complaining, I felt alive, like a human again. Not just the amorphous blob of organs and limbs that I felt I had become. Running lifted the haze that constantly followed me around because I was always terribly depressed.
Another very helpful aspect of running was that I had a team. These people were just as determined to see and help me succeed as I was to succeed. Being on a team helped me feel accountable and when I was having low days, they would lift me higher and they would share my sentiment on my high days. This camaraderie coupled with the physical exercise, boosted my mood and I felt like a completely different person after each run. After each finish line, after each medal received. At times, yes, it was agonizing and painful. However, to me, nothing was more agonizing and painful than when I didn’t have the motivation to get up in the morning to go to school, when I didn’t feel the need to shower, or wear clean clothes, when I found no meaning in life and contemplated taking it, myself. Nothing is more agonizing and painful than the experience of depression and for that reason, I run. To keep the depression away. I am outrunning depression.