I love that running brings people from all walks (or runs) of life together. Regardless of your athletic history, your weight, or your age, anyone can take up running and feel the benefits of it almost immediately. I would say there are many runners, in fact, who do not consider themselves athletic. Often times they chose running because they didn’t make the soccer team or were sick of sitting on the bench in the other sport they were playing at the time. I heard this a lot when recruiting high school kids. Running provided them an opportunity to participate and they were able to push themselves while not worrying about playing time. Running gives a person the chance to prove themselves as an individual with the support of a team.Many people pick up running later in life, to make new friends or to get in shape. There are those who were born to run and those were also good at other sports, but I think many just want to be part of something.
I often wonder how many people use running as a competitive outlet. I heard Seth Rogan being interviewed on the radio this morning. When asked if he watched the Olympics, he was pretty nonchalant about it and said that he just doesn’t get excited about sports and people winning. He claimed that he has tried to in the past, but it just “wasn’t his thing.” My immediate reaction was that I absolutely could not relate to this sentiment. How can you not care if someone wins? Now the funny thing about my competitive attitude (besides the fact that it can really irritate those around me), is that it is my drive and motivation both now and throughout my running career. I worked hard and I suppose there was some natural talent there, but mostly I just hated to lose. This is different than why other people choose to run or has very little to do with what gives them the push to train for a marathon or break 18 minutes in a 5k. I love it! That is why our sport can be for so many different people. You can smile every step because you are so happy to be out there, or you can grit your way through it because in the end, all that mattered was that you did it.