The night I dreamt my race.

Here I am, running across fields. I can smell the grass clearly as if held to my nose. I see every flower along the way.  I see each dandelion, every tulip, and every rose. I feel the breeze blowing silently passed my face—chilling my nose more and more as I run.

I’m racing a 5k but my mind continues to wander. It wanders to each and every bump in the ground;small or large. I see each and every tree in the woods.I focus on every root in the earth, expressing care on foot placement. I’m alone. I must be gapped for I haven’t seen another racer in quite awhile.

I focus my mind on every turn—the width,the length and every aspect of the turn. Its seems like no detail can escape my senses on this course. Memorizing each detail oh so perfectly.

I approach a hill and suddenly the unexpected happens. I remembered I am dreaming and I’m not currently in a race. I assumed I would then wake up—I assumed entirely wrong. I then witnessed each and every turn and hill—each and every lap and mile in every possible condition. Rain,hail,snow,cold and heat—you name it I was witnessing it. I witnessed how to pass the people in my race with ease.

The entire run was effortless and perfect. I finally woke up.
In 6 hours I had a race to go to—a 5k in the park.

I arrive at the start line. All my muscles loose and stretched. I’m already sweating. I feel confident and prepared. This will be my race I whisper over and over again,mentally of course.
“Runners. Set.”
B-A-N-G
The gun goes off and so do my legs. I follow the crowd and pass a few kids as I go. Only a few seconds later I realize there’s no difference between reality and the dream I had last night. I know the placement of each and every flower—each bump and each turn.

I don’t know if it was from practicing mile repeats each week leading up to this race or if by some miracle—but last night I dreamt my perfect race here.

I knew at that point I could win this race. It was effortless.

Rupert -An athlete, a writer , a Learner of life

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A reward from Running

When I decided to become a runner there was one thing I never imagined happening. Someone asking me for advice. Yeah I know that doesn’t seem like much but really it is .I mean think about it , someone personally came to you in particular for tips. Its actually a great feeling.

The next greatest thing was the very first time I helped coach the track and field team at my highschool. I can’t even begin to explain how much I grew as a person that season.

I personally wasn’t aloud to run my Senior year—doctors wouldn’t allow. I had a heart condition and was out for three months. Sadly a highschool track season is about three months. I was obviously heart broken however something greater happened . I was able to watch a younger generation of kids develop unforgettable skills and talents. I witnessed it in such a way I never could have before. I felt touched and blessed to say the least.

Those kids looked up to me and trusted me of all people with their development.
Its truly an unforgettable and rewarding experience.

Rupert -An athlete, a writer , a Learner of life

Why You Should Become A Runner

We’ve all, at one point or another, been faced with the idea of being a runner. Whether it was highschool gym class and you needed to do a mile run to pass, or you witnessed an elderly person still out there living it up as a runner. I mean come on I know I want to be flexible and agile even in my older years. Wouldnt you?

Running is that crazy sport that makes no sense—right? The first time I ran more than a light jog I swore up and down I wouldn’t ever do it again—four years later I’m still running almost every single day. It wasn’t easy to get where I am today—a college NCAA II athlete. However, becoming a runner doesn’t mean you have to aim for that high of competition. You don’t have to compete at all. Running could Just be something you do for sport and fun as a pastime. Yes I know, you probably think I’m insane right now—running for fun?

I didn’t get to be the athlete I am today because running is boring—no, I gave it two weeks and quickly found out the complete opposite. That running was actually quite addictive! After just a few weeks in I couldn’t see my days without some form of running. A few more weeks and I pretty much knew I was hooked. A few months passed and I completely forgot my old life that lacked running. Its simply who I was now.


 

So you’re probably all wondering now , “why should I become a runner,” that is according to the title, what I promised. Well here’s why, to name a few:

Benefit #1

  • Running can help with depression and anxiety.

According to The National Institute of Mental Health as retrieved from an article by NCBI.com,

Depression affects roughly 9.5% of the U.S adult population each year, and it is estimated that approximately 17% of the U.S population will suffer from a major depressive episode at some point in their lifetime¹

It’s very easy to see that depression is a serious problem in just the US alone, not to mention other countries of the world. In the same article we also learn that

Patients are not educated regarding nonpharmacologic strategies for managing the symptoms of their depression. Treatment of clinical depression can be improved by the addition of cognitive-behavioral therapies, and by exercise.¹

So we know two things right away—depression is all too common and exercise can potentially cure depression. know also that exercise can prevent such problems. Not many people know these two things.

This is one reason you should become a runner. Not only would you have a free and unlimited mood enhancer, (running is in fact free) you would also be preventing any future problems.

There is not a day that goes by I don’t run into some sort of dilemma that can be annoying and hard on my confidence. It’s just how society is today. Every time I ,as well as many teammates I’ve known, go for a run—all that stress melts away and we are left with a euphoric feeling. The best part is there’s nothing stopping anyone from running. using running as a stress reliever is at least 50% of why I find it so addicting and easily kept it a part of my day.

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Night runs are fun!


 

Benefit #2

Say you aren’t really worried about stress, well to begin with you are absolutely lucky to even have thought that !(because stress is almost impossible to avoid)but you don’t think you need running for stress. Well good news for you , running is one of the best ways to stay in shape and in good health.

For instance take a moment to analyze this information from The Canadian Medical Association

Recent investigations have revealed even greater reductions in the risk of death from any cause and from cardiovascular disease. For instance, being fit or active was associated with a greater than 50% reduction in risk . Furthermore, an increase in energy expenditure from physical activity of 1000 kcal (4200 kJ) per week or an increase in physical fitness of 1 MET (metabolic equivalent) was associated with a mortality benefit of about 20%.²

I’m speechless , talk about good health! Running is a great way to achieve the physical exercise necessary to receive the above mentioned health benefits. Not only is it going to reap more safety from common risk factors but , a 20% increase in mortality.

Wait wait wait. did you just say I could live longer? Yes I did.here’s another quote from the University of Stanford 

Regular running slows the effects of aging according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine that has tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years. Elderly runners have fewer disabilities , a longer life span of active life and are half as likely as aging frontrunners to die early deaths, the research found.³

Those are amazing facts you just can’t run away from—see what happened there.

Benefit #3

I’m not going to get real into this next one  I want to get straight to the point !

Running will help you drastically if you are trying to lose or keep weight off—especially stubborn fat.

exercise and physical activity have been recently discovered to increase the release of a chemical in the human body called Irisin. The Irisin is linked to thermogenesis(the production of heat within the body4) which is linked to fat loss.

Understand this is a new breakthrough and much more information is to come! What happens is: You have fat cells that store fat which are reffered to as white apidose fat cells5

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But there also a more favorable type of fat cells called Brown apidose fat cells. Take a look at what irisin can do thanks to information from Harvard  University:

Brown fat cells don’t store fat: they burn fat. If your goal is to lose weight, you want to increase the number of your brown fat cells and to decrease your white fat cells,” says Dr. Komaroff.

Irisin does that, at least in mice. And those newly-created brown fat cells keep burning calories after exercise is over. But it gets better.

That sounds amazing if you ask me, and the best part is later on in that article its goes on to explain how Irisin has also been found in humans . Its really quite interesting !

Did this guy just say I can adapt to naturally burn fat.. Through exercise. Yeah that’s right. I’m headed out for a jog as we speak.


Benefit#4

Running is a very rewarding sport! Don’t just take my word for it go out and see for yourself . Ask anyone you know that runs on a regular basis, well why they love it.There are endless possibilities to why they actually love running , but the majority will give you a story of such a rewarding experience they received.

For instance I personally find running rewarding just because it keeps me close to nature in a way I would have never understood. When I run trails and parks its almost meditative —the experience and the beauty.

Just setting little goals here and there and actually accomplishing them is extremely rewarding at heart. That’s the best part.

So go out there and try it for yourself . Gve it about two weeks- a month. Try to take note of any positive changes you find in your life and embrace them. Enjoy yourself. There’s so many reasons to become a runner we can only talk so much—go experience it for yourself.