Why Run?? by Joe Fleenor

Joe Fleenor

As a large 215 pound male I am asked this question often…why run? Of course, everyone is looking for a simple answer like to win, to lose weight, to burn calories or to stay in shape, but for many of us I think it's deeper than that. In the beginning I could only swim, because I was 349 pounds. Running was the last thing on my mind.

As I began to shed the pounds and run for all the above reasons I struggled with PR's, how fast I ran, distance and what place I finished. It was only after the times passed of Half Marathons, Marathons and Iron Man Distance triathlons that I learned the "real" benefits of running. The problem until this point was that I tried to run too fast, too hard, too long or too often.

I won a book as a door prize called Born to Run and I was intrigued by the message I received from the book. I learned to slow down, enjoy the scenery and my time alone. I learned that my overall health was better, that I made many great friends and that I would most likely never win a running race unless there was a Clydesdale class! I also learned the same things as many of you, but most of all I learned to enjoy it! I learned to enjoy the smells, the rain on my face, the snow on my nose, the smart remarks from passing motorists and the fact that when I am running I go to a place that isn't often visited…A place that crosses pain with joy and defeat with accomplishment.

Running is my release from whatever is keeping me from being happy and I encourage everyone to learn to enjoy it like your favorite dessert! I have thoroughly enjoyed my four years of running and met my beautiful wife in the process. What a wonderful change running has made in my life and I will cherish the experience forever!

Below is a list of the "best" reasons to run..

    1. You can eat more
    2. You can meet your future spouse
    3. You can spit and blow snot rockets
    4. Your nipples can bleed and look cool
    5. You can get a tan
    6. You can make great friends
    7. You can be wear crazy clothes and shoes
    8. You can outrun a dog
    9. You can calm a hard work day
    10. You can pee your pants in the rain

    Joe Fleenor
    SFTC member-at-large