I like to think of myself as a woman of many talents, but graceful is not an adjective that would ever be used to describe me. I have this terrible of habit of running into tables, doorframes and basically anything that could pose a danger to a toddler crawling around the house. I’ve been tripping over my own feet for as long as I can remember. For this reason, I’ve avoided sports for my entire life.
Yet for some strange reason, I chose to attend a school that’s obsessed with sports. Namely, basketball. We have a really great men’s and women’s basketball team at my school, and I’m excited to join my fellow students in the stands to cheer them on. But beyond the sport obsession, the majority of the student body is extremely athletic. It’s kind of intimidating. The gym is always packed—I’ve gone exactly one time this school year, and discovered that I’m on a completely different level of athleticism than my peers.
But in September, on a whim, I decided to throw on my tennis shoes and go for a run outside. Gonzaga University’s campus is located right next to Spokane’s Centennial Trail which runs around the Spokane River. It is gorgeous! Although my first run ended up being rather slow (it turned into a stroll guys, a stroll), I discovered that I really enjoyed running. It has turned into an activity that I actually find myself yearning to do, strange as that is. If you’re looking for a new hobby, why not try going for a run?
1. It’s a chance for you to have some “me time”
It’s really difficult to find time by yourself in college- you’re constantly surrounded by other people and privacy begins to look like a thing of the past. I’m an introvert, so I crave time alone, when I can recharge for later socialization. I choose to run by myself because nobody else who I know is willing to wake up for a 7AM run(I’m an early bird, I can’t help it), and because I enjoy running by myself. I need that time alone, time to reflect on my thoughts.
2. Unplug and check out nature
I run outside, right when the sun is rising, and it’s amazing. I get to wake up to a beautiful view, and it’s totally worth it. I do listen to my music when I run, so I’m not entirely engulfed in my surroundings, but it’s nice to have an hour where I’m not checking my phone. That little bit of independence is refreshing.
3. Get to know the surrounding area
On top of being clumsy, I’m also navigationally challenged. When I first visited Gonzaga, I got lost within five minutes. Thankfully, a lot has changed in the past three months. I’ve gotten to know the surrounding part of Spokane, and I’m learning which paths lead where. It’s really fun getting to explore on my own. I realize that not every campus has a trail located next to it, but that shouldn’t stop you. A trail is nice, but not necessary. Do a little research on your city before you leave. Run to a nearby town, run to a nearby park- just make sure it’s a safe path.
4. It’s healthy!
Of course, the most obvious reason to start running is because of the health related benefits. We all know that exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, but we aren’t always willing to join a gym or a sports team. Cardio is good for everyone, and all you really need to be a runner is a good pair of tennis shoes.
If you don’t think you’re up for the challenge of running, that’s okay too! Walking is always a good alternative, and I still love taking a stroll around the city. If you want to eventually progress to running, that’s great, but if not, that’s still fine! The point is that you’re out, you’re moving, and hopefully, you’re enjoying yourself! .