WHY DO I REALLY RUN? // CHRIS WHITE FROM GO RUN AUSTRALIA – 17 MARATHONS IN 2017 March 2, 2017 – Posted in: Latest News, Expert Advice
I have always said to people that I am a completely different person when I don’t exercise. My wife and other family members will definitely back that statement up! I am one of these people who get bored easily and have a lot of nervous energy, so for me running is my outlet and main form of relaxation and de-stressing. I guess it is my equivalent to meditation or yoga.
It would be easy to stop this blog right here and say that my ‘why’ in the question, ‘why do I run?’ is simply to de-stress, but it is way more than that.
I really discovered how much more, when I visited my sister and paced her at the Central Coast Half Marathon recently. I have seen my sister slowly change her attitude towards running and fitness over the past few months and running has now become a central part of her routine. Rather than it being a chore, being inconsistent in training and being constantly injured, running is now an important way for her to socialise, relax and achieve something new and different. Her ‘why’ has changed and interestingly, so has her performance as a result.
As we chatted the night before the race, I realised that I hadn’t reflected on my own ‘why’ for some time. I think I had almost fallen into the trap of saying that as a running coach, I ran because it was now my profession, but that would actually be complete rubbish.
So, sat on the living room floor, we put the world to rights and discovered that my own ‘why’ is far deeper and wider than simply my career or to de-stress. Here is what we jotted down…
Running keeps me calm and balanced, but stresses me out.
It allows me to be alone, but part of a supportive group.
It allows to me to think and gain clarity or ignore problems entirely.
It scratches my competitive itch and caters to my slightly obsessive nature.
It justifies my chocolate and ice cream consumption, whilst prompting me to eat healthier.
It brings me closer to my family (my father in particular) but separates me from my colleagues.
It provides a safe topic of conversation, but a point of difference.
It gives me confidence and self worth but makes me feel humble and inadequate.
It shows me my limits, then shows me there are none.
It teaches me lessons and gives me the means to teach.
I am sure that I could think of more as well….. But overall I would say that I run so that I have less personal stress, fewer arguments, better resilience in stressful situations and a happier existence. Running also regularly teaches and inspires me to create awesome memories and lasting bonds with my friends, family and the wider community.
Not bad for just putting one foot in front of the other is it?!
I often ask the runners that I coach to think about their own ‘why’ and now it’s your turn….
Do any of these feel familiar to you?
What is your ‘why’?
Particularly when we are setting our health and fitness goals, I would encourage you to take the time and think about why you really run and why you are setting your particular goals for 2017. It can be really enlightening and pretty powerful. It can also be the difference between sticking to your goals and them just drifting aimlessly towards the ‘maybe next year’ pile.
I have seen first hand, that with a bit of guidance and coaching, the runners at Go Run Australia with the strongest whys, have achieved truly awesome results. A few of them, like Scott, Sally and Jane have shared their stories here. Go check them out and then discover your own!
by Chris White
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Chris is a Recreational Running Coach and business owner of Go Run Australia, which helps beginner and intermediate runners around the globe to challenge themselves and achieve their running goals. Chris believes in the value of running to help relieve stress, increase energy, boost confidence and help in other areas of life. He is a sub 3 hour marathon runner himself and a two time Ironman triathlete who changed his career and life in 2015 after being made redundant from his job at a health charity. Prior to that Chris worked in the public health sector for over ten years in roles that took him to the UK, Belgium and Australia. For more information about Chris and Go Run Australia coaching see: www.gorun.com.au