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An incredibly happy runner

4 Reasons Running is Awesome

By Amber Hadigan, 02/10/17, 10:30AM EST

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In case you needed reminders.

"Why the hell would he want to do that?"

"She must be crazy!"

We’ve all heard our friends say such things when we talk about running, and we may not be able to clearly articulate what makes running so awesome. It’s a feeling we get that is hard to describe. If you’re having trouble putting words to your emotions, here’s a little help.

It’s fun!

Remember when you were a kid and nothing felt better than running up and down the playground at recess? That is what running feels like. I used to believe that I was flying, and I run to capture that feeling of complete joy that one only experiences when physically free.

You challenge yourself

You go out every day, even when you don’t feel like it. You set goals and have a clear path to completion. You can see the start and the finish, and the middle is powered by your legs. Psychology says that the true path to happiness is the feeling you get when you set a goal and put the effort into achieving it. With each step, you are getting closer to victory.

There is nothing like that feeling of victory

When you finish a workout or a race and you’ve pushed your body to its limits, there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing you did it. The rush I get when I complete something I thought I couldn’t is the biggest high I have ever felt. Even though I sometimes hated training for a marathon, I want to run more so that I can experience the feeling of crossing the finish line as a winner.

You have earned bragging rights

When you’ve finished your first race, whether it is a 5K or a marathon, you know you have done something many people cannot do. Post about it on Facebook, frame your horrible finish line picture for everyone to admire, and wear your T-shirt with pride. You’ve earned the right to brag.

The emotional experience of running is well worth the price of admission. You’ve learned to challenge yourself. You’ve learned to motivate yourself. You’ve pushed back all your preconceived limitations. You’ve had fun doing so. And when you see the finish line, it’s perfectly appropriate to scream, yell, and jump up and down in celebration! Have fun! That’s what it’s all about.

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Many people crossing the rock n roll finish line