Photo by Shu Qian on Unsplash

The shutting down of gyms during the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it opened my eyes into the world of running. Early on in my childhood, I despised running and never really understood the end goal. Was it just the timing? Aren’t sprints faster and harder than marathons? What was the point of long distance running if the only measure was timing? Although I was participating in multiple sporting events in high school, I truly began my fitness journey at the age of 17 after watching my brother compete in triathlons and play hockey. His spare running shoes nudged me along before I started realizing the benefits of exercise on a day-day basis. The past 10+ years I have come to state of maintaining 5 days a week workout routine. It became an integral part of my lifestyle to an extent where I used to workout at midnight or even places to where I travelled. Being forced to find a way to exercise during lockdown, it gave me an outlet to explore running as a serious hobby.

I couldn’t let this oppurtunity go by. The long days inside my apartment in Seattle with stress of the world unfolding around me, surely this one hour of bliss seemed too good to be true. For a couple of months in spring 2020, running kept me going while I avoided the news. To this day, it still does. After 18 months, currently, I am averaging 2 days a week — totalling 10 miles(~16 km) of city running. Here are some of the things I observed:

Every time I feel negative emotions creep in, I know if I go for a run and I feel better. This seemed to be my therapy sessions during lockdown

Rush of endorphins and endocannabinoids kills that stress. This study goes in depth.

Hiking any trail seems doable. This confidence did not exist before running. It proved that I’m stronger than I thought, both physically and mentally, and that I can do anything I set my mind to.

The beauty is, this confidence spills into every other area of my life — relationships (romantic, professional, and otherwise), career, travel & adventure, financial, etc.

Running requires lots of patience. After all, you’re doing the same thing repeatedly, hour after hour, which for most people isn’t that exciting. To keep it interesting I prefer to run outside. Ask me to run on a treadmill and I wouldn’t even start. If you can learn to trust yourself and your body, you can learn to trust anything.

Distance running is a mental game. After all the physical training, you can’t make it unless you know you can do it

Connection with other runners, with nature, and with my body.

I truly understood the consequences of the sub-2 hour run from Kipchoge, as it broke mental barriers for everyone.

Last but not least, running is where I get creative. It’s where I get inspired and where I come up with most of my ideas. Co-incidentally enough, the idea of starting to write on medium or ideas for contributing to my team’s next 1 to 3 year charter popped up when I was running.

Next time, I need to brainstorm or get out of mental rut, I just put on my running shoes.

In Closing

I run because I can.

P.S — For those looking to start, one of my favorite Ted talks:

Soccer Player | Kick Boxer | Tech Enthusiast 📍SEATTLE