Daryl, “The Couch Potato.” My friends used to call me that when I haven’t discovered running yet. I used to sit on the couch all day long, watching movies, eating whatever my hand can reach. I had no social life. I was depressed and I was all alone. It was tough. I felt that I was slowly sinking into my couch (literally) every single day. Then one day, I happened to bump into this commercial about running. The first thought that came into my mind was, “Why the heck would I let myself run like that?” I just had no interest to do anything at all.
Counting My Steps
I knew that my mom was very concerned with how I was acting so she gave me this pedometer. She told me that I should get up and try giving my new pedometer a tour. I started to enjoy walking, taking note of the steps that I accomplished every single day. Observing the improvements from my daily steps motivated me into thinking that I was more than this couch potato that everyone thought of me to be. This motivation fueled my passion for pushing myself further than just doing my daily walks. That’s how I started my running routines.
Running is a Saving Grace
Running improved my mood dramatically. According to Kjersti Nelson, LMFT, “Daily runs promote sustained mood balance and is an active coping strategy for dealing with life’s ebbs and flows.” Unlike before when I had no intention of living my life, I developed an appreciation for life and how amazing it is. From depression, I channeled my negative energy to be competitive in running. Every single day that I train, I want to do better and better.
Running also gives me a sense of freedom. I love how the wind moves with my pace while running. The air smells so good that it relaxes my mind. After every run, I notice that I can focus more and improve my memory. Most importantly, my self-esteem is higher than before. My confidence in myself continuously grows every time I hit a new record time or beat my current mileage. My overall mental health has improved dramatically by doing the one thing that I didn’t expect could help me. According to Josh King, PsyD, “Running can be a very cathartic act. You can run hard, or jog slowly. You can do it at your own pace. The exercise releases endorphins, which helps to feel better, and can even help with cravings.”
Running Makes Me Look Good
I admit that I became addicted to running. The runner’s high that I feel every time I have a good run gives me so much energy that I can run one more mile. Because of this everyday training, my stamina improved dramatically. The obese body I had before was gone, as slowly and consistently I shed off all the excess weight. Now I have a stronger and leaner body that enables me to run faster and longer. Aside from that, running also contributes to the production of endorphins or the happy hormones in my body. This is why I always find a sense of happiness and enjoyment every time I run. As if I can’t let a day pass by without running. According to Rachel Urbano, PsyD, “What I love about running is it helps me to see what’s going on inside of me.”
I am so thankful that I got into running. If not, I may be dead right now from depression, obesity, and God-knows-what other medical complications. So what are you waiting for? Start walking daily and eventually, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of running.