Why Do You Run?

Wednesday was Global Running Day.

Not "National" Running Day. Global Running Day! The world celebrates running!

To celebrate, the social media for USA Track and Field tweeted this out:

It made me consider why people run. For Olympians and Olympian-caliber athletes, they run because they want to compete at a high level and win. That's easy. But why do others run? Those that aren't capable of running fast times are running for some reason, right?

Let's even broaden the question even further to include more people: Why do we exercise?

In our history, there was never a copious need to run because people in the world were too busy trying to survive! They grew crops, worked in factories, and ran businesses while eating whatever they could afford. If they didn't make money, they didn't eat. If the crops didn't grow, they didn't eat. Treats and snacks were few and far between, because the need was just to get something in the stomach.

Nowadays, much of the work is done through robots and assembly lines and technology. To eat, someone simply has to take a dollar to a nearby store (and usually that's not hard to find) and get something that's worth a dollar. It might be healthy, but most of the time it's not. And people that supervise the robots, assembly lines, and technology are no longer evening out their eating with their work exercise. Instead of eating to survive, people eat to enjoy food.

For many people, including myself, the reason we run/exercise is because we want to enjoy food and stay physically fit. There is a need to exercise in a variety of ways because our jobs don't usually provide us an opportunity to move. Thus, fitness centers, exercise trails, in-home equipment, and health-and-wellness videos spring up all over the place!

That still doesn't answer the question, though. The real question that lies underneath USATF's tweet is, What motivates us to run/exercise?

Motivation is hard. We work, and then we want to relax in the comfort of our home. When the urge comes to move, we squash it with food or another episode of something or other. How do we drive ourselves from that sloth living?

Some people exercise for themselves. Some people exercise because they want to leave a legacy. But some, like me, exercise to inspire.

When I was a kid, it was incredibly easy for my siblings and I to go outside and play. We would ride our bikes, play games in the backyard, and go to the park. When we got to high school, we found a sport in which to participate. But with the rigors of college and the stress of adult life, those opportunities to work out are few and far between.

My family is a typical American family. We enjoy the luxuries we've earned and the freedoms given to us. And we like food! That's not uncommon for most of us in this country. But our new struggle is realizing that our bodies change as we add on the years. If we don't do something about it, the bodies just keep getting larger and any act of exercising suddenly becomes exhausting.

So after college (and four months overseas) I made it my goal to walk. I replaced my lunches with fruits and vegetables. Then I added some exercise with weights. Things started to work. I liked what I saw. The last thing I wanted to do was add running to my regimen!

Eventually, though, the pull of participating in a 5K race - or even a half-marathon! - pulled me to running. And running was added to the mix of walking and fitness training.

Have the results been amazing? Not really, but it has turned into a habit. My day feels a bit empty if I don't do some sort of exercise. And it doesn't have to be much of anything!

My motivation not only focuses on me, but on the other members of my family. I want to be an inspiration for them. If they see me get out and run, hopefully they'll get out and walk. I want them to stay healthy so I can spend as many years with them as possible! (If anything, I want to be able to walk around with them in Walt Disney World without them getting tired!)

Any act of exercise is an act to be praised. Every detour turns into an opportunity to turn it around. And every day is the best day to start! So now that you know my motivation, I ask you:

Why do you run?

Olympic Channel Video of the Week

With the recent news about Nike and its changing policy on pregnant athletes, this video about triumphant pregnant athletes at the Olympics seems appropriate:

Tokyo 2020 Prep

Ken Hanscom strikes again, helping me to turn down my high expectations about Olympics tickets:

I hope the fact that I didn't pick high-tier events helps me to get a couple of tickets...

Mini Blurbs

  • I got to watch the FINA Championship Series event that was out of Indianapolis. No preliminary rounds; just finals! And there's only four swimmers! The athletes themselves are excited for this because the payout is large: $10K for the winner, and $5K for the fourth place finisher! Swede Sarah Sjöström made over $140K in the three events in which she participated!
  • The NCAA Track and Field Championships were this weekend, and Florida's Grant Holloway finally broke a 40-year-old collegiate record by running a sub-13-second race in the 110-meter hurdles. Texas Tech's Divine Oduduru won the 100- and 200-meters, which should be fun come next summer! Why? Oduduru is from Nigeria, and his finishes yesterday puts him right behind Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman for the world leads this year. We have a new competitor in the field! (And he's only a junior!)
  • The FIFA Women's World Cup started this weekend, which will undoubtedly set up a lot of storylines that will be followed up next year at the Olympics. We'll cover more of this in the weeks to come! 
  • Olympic Day is coming up on Sunday, June 23! Last year I tried something new with kayaking. This year I need to find something else to do. Any suggestions? 
  • The following day is the vote for the 2026 Winter Olympics! I'm pulling for Stockholm, Sweden, to take it, but the other choice - Milan-Cortina, Italy, is another strong choice. We'll see what the IOC decides!

Weekly Cauldron Check

Is the cauldron lit????


I'm Claire Nat and you're reading Light The CauldronFollow me on Twitter and Facebook @CauldronLight and read my past Olympic articles! You can start with my daily recap of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics HERE!


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