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Why I Run

And What I Have in Common with Forrest Gump

“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think of what it might be.”

—Joyce Carol Oates

One of my favorite movies of all-time is Forrest Gump. I’m sure most of you have seen it, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It’s a must watch.

In the movie, and for no particular reason, Forrest decides to go for a little run. And he runs for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.

When he first started to run, he told others he “just felt like running.” But as the movie and his running progress, he realizes why he’s running. During his run across the country and back, he thinks a lot. He thinks about his Momma, Bubba, Lt. Dan, and most of all, Jenny.

Then one day, he just stops and decides to go back home. And when he looks back on why he ran so much, he remembers something his Momma told him.

“My Momma always said you got to put the past behind you before you can move on — that’s what my running was all about.”

– Forrest Gump

For Forrest, running was a way to put the past behind him. It was a way to ease the pain of losing Jenny. It was a way to run from his past and his life, and it was a way for him to find himself.

I’m a lot like Forrest Gump because I decided to start running one day. I told myself it was to get back in shape. So I began.

And now I run because it brings me peace — something I’ve never felt.

I run because it gives me confidence — something I’ve never had.

I run because it helps my mental health. My worries go away even if it’s only for the time I’m running.

I run because it helps all of my health — physical, mental, and emotional.

I run because time seems to stop. I’m frozen in this beautiful moment of pain and pleasure. And nothing else matters.

I run because the world becomes quiet — there’s nothing but me and the struggle and I love the struggle. I cherish it and am thankful for it.

I run because I can’t go back to a life without running. Running understands me. And I understand running.

why I run
Photo by Marie Noëlle LOYAUX on Unsplash

Like Forrest, I think a lot on my runs. I think about life and my kids. I think about how much I love to run. I think about writing. I think about life and love and relationships. I grow while I’m running.

Like Forrest, one day I just started running without knowing why. I thought getting back in shape was the catalyst.

But when I look back now, I started running to help put the past behind me. So I could move forward.

Like Forrest, I started running to ease the pain. Of my life, my job, my anxiety, and my relationships. Of my past. Of everything. I started running to find myself and to find out what I’m capable of.

I haven’t found what Forrest did yet, however, I’m on my way.

But unlike Forrest, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Why do you run?

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