Sean Lee: ‘Why I Run’ [Blog]

By Sean Lee, WWJ Health Reporter

Early this past Saturday morning, I got up, and did my usual cold weather pre-run prep. Wrapped my left foot (plantar fasciitis), and layered on thermal underwear under my clothes. After breakfast, I piled on two jackets, dug out my running gloves and hopped in the car.

The temperature display on the instrument panel read a chilly 34 degrees outside, but I knew with the wind on Belle Isle, it would feel more like the low 20’s. I detest the cold, and I’d rather get a root canal than exercise outside when it’s freezing. So why was I running? When I signed up for the race, I knew I was running for a great cause – the 4th Annual “Run With the Cops, Not From Them”. The event raises money for kids with cancer.

But this weekend, I had an additional reason to run. After the bombings at the Boston Marathon Monday, I made a promise. Like many other runners across the country, I promised to run for Boston.

I’m no elite athlete. Although running has helped me lose 30 pounds in the past year or so, I’m still a little too chunky to be fast, and I’m never going to finish first. But running has given me many gifts. Some of them – like sore muscles and chronic plantar fasciitis – aren’t so great. But the good gifts, well that list is long and tougher to quantify.

Running has given me a deep appreciation for inner strength I really didn’t know I had before. That strength is obviously physical, but it’s also mental and psychological. Running has also helped me more fully embrace concepts like gratitude. Gratitude for a body that works like it should. And achieving things I have through running, like finishing the Free Press Half Marathon last year, make me determined to never take the gift of a healthy body for granted.

So Saturday morning, when the race started late because the hard-working volunteers were overwhelmed with participants, when I ended up alone at the start line in a crowd of 700 because my running buddies thought it was too cold, and when the wind burned my face and seared my lungs, I didn’t complain or feel sorry for myself. I slipped in my earbuds, tugged on my gloves, and I ran.

It wasn’t my best race. Did I mention I was freezing? I literally felt like throwing up it was so cold. I was slow because I hadn’t trained enough in the weeks leading up. I mentally kicked myself when I started to alternate walking and running. But I eventually found my groove, and I ran more than I walked. And I finished grateful, as I carried thoughts of all those runners who may never run again, or whose running experience will be incomprehensibly altered in a way they probably never imagined. In a sense, they carried me over the finish line.

If you need motivation to get moving, gratitude can be a pretty powerful tool. Be grateful for the amazing gift of being well and whole. Expressing that gratitude doesn’t have to be a 5K or a marathon. It can be a regular walk around the block after dinner as the weather gets nicer.

I’ve heard running described as a form of meditation. For me, on Saturday as it is many days, it was a prayer. A prayer of thanks and gratitude for health, a prayer of appreciation for the people who showed up on a chilly April morning to raise money for pediatric cancer patients, and a prayer for Boston.

Find your reason, and get moving.

More from Your Eye On Health
Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best 4th Of July Concerts In Metro DetroitStaying home this weekend? Celebrate the 4th of July by rocking out at one of these shows.
Hump Day Drinks: 8 Cheery Cocktail RecipesNow that you've made it through half the work week, it's time to celebrate!

Watch & Listen