Running. It’s painful, tedious, and exhausting. So, why do so many Americans do it? People run for many reasons. Most often, people run to stay in shape and to reach an ideal body weight, but for me it has become an escape from the craziness in the world. The power in a good run can be felt by anyone, anytime, and anywhere. Its simplicity requires minimal experience or equipment, as the running motion is an innate movement for the human body and healing for the mind. Running was never a a passion of mine and I’ve still never run on cross country or track teams, but I figured you’ll never know until you try. This is definitely true when it comes to running; and it is how I recently discovered my love for it. Though it can be a sport of endurance or speed, for me running means releasing stress and really testing my body's limits. Being in quarantine for the past month helped me find this new passion for running. Since then, I have been running almost daily with my dog Coco accompanying me on her leash.
When I was younger I thought running was a grueling punishment, but I have learned that it’s actually a positive state of mind and healthy movement to find peace with yourself. This has been really helpful to me during the pandemic and all its stress and uncertainties piling onto our daily lives. Lately life has been throwing a lot of those things at us, but running has been my safe haven and my sanity check. In these corona times, I can finally get out of the house and move, see new things, think about the future, and breathe in deeply. I think a lot about what is going to happen in the coming months. I will be moving to another school next fall (at St. George’s School), and I wonder a lot on those runs how different the world will be by then. Yet with each determined stride, my worries, stress, confusion, and fears about everything going on in the world begins to fall away. Running is the one thing that helps me to feel that everything will be okay. This new running routine gives me a small amount of control over my day, and the newness of it in my life — especially when there is so much monotony under quarantine — is all the more rewarding. I have lived in Concord for most of my life, and through running I have discovered so many new trails in such a short time, each one beautiful or challenging in its own right. Saving my runs until the late afternoon gives me something to look forward to every day, and I often get an unexpected surprise along the way — a pink sunset, a gentle breeze, or a frightened deer scampering away as I approach. I cannot wait to see what gifts tomorrow’s run will bring. Who knows — maybe some day I will even run a marathon.