Editor in chief shares revelations of running

Running offers new life lessons: pacing yourself, seeing things from another perspective

I started running this summer.

I didn’t think that running was for me; I’ve always preferred racking up miles while riding a bike. But I decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone and just start running, and I discovered how amazing it can be.

I’ve run by myself. I’ve run with old friends and new friends. I’ve run with people who pull away as we discover our paces are different. No matter who I’m with, I always find myself motivated to power through and do better. We encourage each other to work through each hill, and we can just talk about whatever’s on our minds.

Running by myself is great—I push myself to do better than I did last run, and I have time to think and sort out my thoughts. I have the space to just think about whatever comes to the front of my mind, which is a rare opportunity for me these days.

I’ve run on trails. I’ve run on roads. I’ve run through places I’d otherwise never find myself. Every time I run, I see something new. Sometimes the way the light filters through the trees is slightly different. Other times I see a storefront that I’ve driven past dozens of times but never consciously made a note of. Running causes me to see the world through a different lens.

As sweaty as it makes me, running is relaxing. Being outside, tuning everything beyond my immediate space out for an hour, and focusing only on moving forward gives me direction. It’s a simple and welcome break from the stress of my responsibilities. I unplug and it’s impossible for anyone to contact me for that amount of time, and that distance makes me feel liberated.

While I’m running, I feel fulfilled. Humans evolved to be well-adapted for running—I’m using my body to do something it is automatically pretty good at. People don’t have to be taught how to run like they do to bicycle, swim, or ski. Everyone who is fortunate enough to have the physical ability to run can pick it up and start doing it in a way that fits into her life. I’m privileged to have easy access to good places to run and enough time to make use of them.

One rule I’ve set for myself while running is that I don’t compare myself to others. The only stats I track are my own. The next time I run, I aim for slightly above the pace I managed last time, and whether or not I meet my target is only up to me.

I don’t take running terribly seriously. I never thought of running as something that I could just pick up, but I have proven myself wrong this summer. I’m not great at it, and my pace is garbage-tier. But that’s not what matters to me. Running is a fantastic way to clear my mind, calm myself down, and stay focused on what lies ahead.