I'm used to the look people give me when I tell them I love running.
It's one of confusion and maybe a little horror, as if the follow-up question darting around their mind like a pinball is 'are you okay?'
I get it. Running gets a bad rap. Its PR is not... great.
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Many people see running as 'punishment'. We're told to 'run laps' as a form of discipline at sport trainings as kids (and adults, actually), and for decades social media has been awash with disturbing images that lay out how long you'd 'have' to run to equal the calories of a Big Mac.
Unsurprisingly, this creates a negative thought process towards running. But running shouldn't be punishment.
It shouldn't be done so you can 'reward' yourself with food, and it certainly shouldn't be seen as a consequence of eating. Running can be a sport, a hobby or a form of therapy, but it should not be punishment.
I'm not exactly an expert. I just... run.
I have done so most days for at least a decade, ever since I had a fight with my stepdad and literally ran out the door (true story, and a great indicator of my angsty teenage years). I barely made it down the street without my heart feeling like it was going to jump out of my chest, but afterwards, I felt calmer, happier and... accomplished. Runner's high is no myth.