Guest Post Friday – Why I run

I suppose I should start off by saying this:
I use to hate running
With a passion
Seriously – I’d do pretty much anything besides go for a run 
Now, though, I can’t go a few days without it

As an artist to the core, growing up dancing fed my need to create
Imagine
Increase my strength, flexibility and balance
{and some cardio}


Lots of folks say that dance is exercise. Well, it darn well is. It’s just different than running; different than biking; it’s even different than yoga 

In terms of cardio, dance is a strange combination of sporadic bursts of 150% energy followed by 30 seconds of a continuation of that energy but used in slow motion/active stillness. Add splashes of random segments of “dancer runs” at a consistent tempo, using all of your energy to catch or throw or lift another dancer, balancing on one leg while slowly rotating counter clockwise and holding the other leg as close to your ear as you can without the help of your arms and moments of dead sprints towards another performer to either stop on a dime before you hit them or jump and fly into their arms…and you’ve got 3-5 minutes of strange cardio work 

After college – after my dance days were over – I took a desk job and instantly went from 
40 hours of dancing per week
To 40 hours of sitting per week

SUCH a difficult thing to deal with! 

During the summer of 2010, while on a study abroad in China, I found what I was sure was a lump in my breast. Upon returning to the states, I had a check-up with my OBGYN who recommend a biopsy. The wait time following my biopsy until I received good or bad news was a few weeks – a few weeks of realizing that my life could change drastically and deciding that I needed to stop waiting for the “tomorrow’s” and “later’s” that I had always lived by.I finally got the results, negative, and chose to live how I had planned on if I were diagnosed with cancer. You can read all about it here: http://rebeggawood.blogspot.com/2011/02/6-months.html 


I knew I had to do something to stay “in shape” 
I debated working a night shift so I could take dance classes during the day…because that’s the only time they’re taught
One thing kept coming back to my mind
And though I hated the idea
I decided to pick up running

When I first started, it was the middle of winter. No matter how cold, how much snow and ice were on the ground, I made myself get out there and run.
I knew that if I got out there and ran, even if it was only one mile, that I wouldn’t regret it.Plus, it’s the best way to form habit

Four times a week, I pushed myself out the door. Rain, shine, snow, fog, wind – you name it, I was still going running


{the best way to ice your legs in the winter – stand in 3ft of snow}
{great snow runs are always powered by Picky Bars – thanks, guys!}

Once my cardio endurance had built up, I’d add more miles onto each run. I kept building and building till I came to a huge realization several months later when I went on vacation and didn’t do a few of my weekly runs:
I missed it.
I missed it? 
I missed the runs that I didn’t put in that week.
Wow. 

Running had not only started to change my active lifestyle, it had changed my outlook on life, increased my belief in my self worth and desire to always be doing my absolute best. 

Don’t get me wrong – I had those things while I was dancing. It was different now, though. Instead of just knowing that I had those fundamental core beliefs and thinking that was enough; I was living them. Every. Single. Day. 

And I loved it. I still do.

I’ve also been adding races to my list this year. Since March, I’ve participated in
Three 5k’s
Two 10k’s
One 10 mile race
Two half marathons
Two relay races – Ragnar Trail-Zion, Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back

And I hope to keep doing more. Next on my list? Training for an ultra (still not sure how I got talked into this one)



{first 5k of the year – end of March, 17 degrees outside}


{first leg of Ragnar Trail-Zion and the sun was totally in my eyes}

{best pre-race hang out with AJ and Tim! We were there from 2:30am-6:00am}

Since then I’ve continued to add miles or work on speed, re-introduced my body to wonderful foam rollers and rolling sticks, fallen in love with KT tape and doing what I can to keep up any dance juju that’s still left in me
{let’s be honest, I’ll have dance moving through my veins till I die, it’s the whole technique part I’m referring to}


{working on my proprioception muscles…and balance}

{why yes, I often sneak my foam roller into the marketing closet at work to use when I need it}

{hello KT tape! we’ve become such good friends}

So. 
I run:
Because it gets me outside
Because it gets me moving
Because the feeling of accomplishment TOTALLY outweighs giving up/taking it easy/pain
Because I feel more centered (spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally)
Because it makes me happy
Because I can see and feel a difference in all aspects of life
Because I’ve been blessed with a body that can move
Because I’m lucky enough to be healthy 
Because I know that waiting till tomorrow is overrated
Because it has amazing short and long term benefits
Because I can
And because I love it

Why do you do what you do?

Today’s Guest Post:

Rebecca is a former professional dancer, a ghost writer, ultra marathoner, lover of outdoors and all things exercise related. She enjoys gardening, running, trying new things, traveling and going on as many adventures as possible. AS long as she’s got an old friend (or a new one) at her side, she could travel anywhere and run all day long!

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