Running is sort of symbolic of the challenges many people face in life. You have to push yourself to overcome obstacles. You might come to a point where you feel like you can’t go further. But then, you find an inner strength and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought. For me, running has really become a passion. When I go days without being able to run, it wears on me.
I’ve been pondering this question lately: Why do I run? The answer should be as simple as to stay fit and healthy, but it’s so much more than that.
- It’s the way my feet hit the pavement launching me forward.
- It’s the sweat on my brow.
- It’s the heavy breathing and especially that really deep one when I can feel the oxygen fill my entire lungs.
- It’s the looks and waves from the drivers in the car as we share the road.
- It’s knowing that I can push myself to do more with every run than I ever thought possible.
- It’s making a change for the better.
That last line is probably the best explanation for why a couple friends and I created #30DaysofRunning last year. We work in public relations at Altru Health System and knew we wanted to create something in the community that was different. We wanted to do something where people felt involved and would improve lives. Thus the birth of #30DaysofRunning.
The concept was inspired by our friends in Minneapolis who declare every April as 30DaysofBiking. This incredible social movement has people from all over the world coming together to encourage a unique community of cycling. Even if you aren’t in Minneapolis, you feel part of energy because people are talking about it in all forms online: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, everywhere.
With the biker’s encouragement and blessing, we put a spin on their challenge. The Grand Cities has grown to have a strong running community so we knew the concept would take off. And that it did. Support has been amazing. Red River Runners, Wild Hog Half Marathon Race Committee, Scheels, Choice Health & Fitness, Altru Family YMCA – the list keeps growing. And the people!!! Individuals not affiliated with any related business have come to us asking how they can spread the word.
On Facebook and Twitter, the support is incredible. People hop online before or after their run (a few have posted mid-run) and share their experience. Following the hashtag: #30DaysofRunning, people find each other and even though they may have never met, they’re giving each other virtual high-fives for a well done run. While the title is #30DaysofRunning, we don’t leave anyone out. We’ve had walkers participate with us, too. Our goal is to get people to get up, get out and get moving. And the best way to encourage more people to do it? Talk about it online! No matter where you are doing it, you are never alone because there’s always another passionate runner out there who knows exactly what you feel like right now. Having that sense of community and camaraderie with people is second to none in my book.
The movement has taken off. People are running all over North Dakota and Minnesota. We’ve got people tweeting about their runs from across the United States, too. Our northern neighbors in Canada have joined the movement, and we’ve got friends as far away as Mexico and Europe who are running with us.
No matter the distance, they are running. Everyone has their own reason. Together, we are creating change. People are talking about their healthy choices. People who were like me and said they weren’t a runner, are trying something new and falling madly in love with their healthy lifestyle. It’s not a fad diet and won’t make quick results. It takes hard work, determination and focus. The best part is that it’s all worth it. You know what? The only bad run is the one you didn’t do.
So, what are you waiting for? Run with us. Or walk. Just do little more than the day before. Toss in some cross training for good measure. Just get up and get moving.
If you are interested, check it out: 30daysofrunning.org. I’m also posting the majority of the Tweets using our handle @30daysofrunning. On Facebook, we’re talking about it at facebook.com/altruhealthychoices. Just know that when you are out there, we’re right along side running with you.