“If you were to ask a zoologist why we run, he or she might say we run because we are animals, and that’s what animals evolved to do. Running is essential to an animal’s life. Animals run to hunt; they run because they’re being hunted; they run to play; they run out of panic; and they even run to flirt with and show off to other members of their species. The zoologist may be right—on playgrounds across the country, human animals show off their speed, as boys and girls race each other during recess.
There are countless stories of people who run when faced with difficult circumstances. That’s not a coincidence. We all have things we run toward or away from. I’ve met runners who run toward life, toward freedom, health, and friendships, toward love, toward happiness. And I’ve met runners who run away from obesity, from family, relationships, and divorce, from drugs, from depression, from heart disease and cancer.
When we run, we are free of those things. We are free from what binds us, from what keeps us down, from what holds us back. Running helps us cope—with tragedy, with disappointment, with frustration, with sadness, with all of the negative feelings that hold us back from living a happy, fulfilling life.
Running eliminates the stress of most of life’s problems, heightening the enjoyment of the good things in life, at least for the precious moments that we run. We can literally put space between ourselves and our problems, inserting clarity in the space and developing the confidence to handle and deal with what is asked of us. The confidence and empowerment that running gives us can make every hour of our lives better. On both a large, public scale and a small, personal scale, running gives us hope for our future.”