A couple years ago, I would have looked on Global Run Day, said “Huh, that’s cool I guess” and left it at that. Just another “holiday” I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for Facebook and Instagram. However, I have a newfound perspective and appreciation for Global Running Day. Without picking up running and sticking with it past that first Mudder, I’d be in a very different place than I am now.
Running forced me to go outside my comfort zone and push past my perceived limits. I used to have trouble running a full mile without wanting to curl into a ball and die. Now, I actively choose to run for fun and plan my vacations around what races are in the cities I want to visit, I’m looking at you Spartan Chicago Beast. To say that running has changed my life is an understatement. When I think about where I was at before I decided/was told if I didn’t do my first Mudder with my one friend then she’d disown me, it’s hard not to think about where I’d be if I continued to settle for comfort. There wasn’t any real challenge; physically, professionally, and personally. It was the biggest contributor to how miserable I felt on a daily basis. I would always put on the cherry, happy-go-lucky face and crack jokes, because I knew how I felt on the inside and if I could make someone else laugh, that was good enough for me.
Now you may be asking yourself, “But Dan, how in the unholy Hell did running pull you out of that years long funk?” Excellent question audience! Give yourselves a star. And to answer your question, while it wasn’t just the running, transforming running from a form of cardio I occasionally did at the end of a workout to make myself feel slightly better about eating like a 7 year old kid locked in a McDonald’s kitchen unsupervised for 3 hours into an essential part becoming the best version of myself was a good place to start. While there are still a ways to go before I reach all the goals I’ve set for myself across the board, at least now I have a starting point and a general direction. And it’s thanks in no small part to sticking with running for the long haul. Doing the Philly Full Marathon in November is still giving me night terrors, but one challenge at a time. Thank you running, and Happy Global Running Day.