Excuse me while I write an incredibly sappy post about how running has changed my outlook on life.
Earlier today I clicked over to Forbes to read an article called “Should Running Wunderkind Mary Cain Turn Pro?”
Mary Cain is a track and field star who is only 17 years old.
(Image Source: Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports)
The Forbes article wonders if Cain will go pro or stay amateur so she has the option to compete in college (as well as live a somewhat normal young adult life).
The author states that Cain could be making upwards of six to seven figures in endorsements if she went pro right now.
That’s a lot of money, but you know what, runner’s know that life is about more than money.
Before I started running I used to think about money a lot. How much I was making, how much I wanted to make, how much I needed to pay off my student loans, how much I needed to retire somewhat early, how much I needed to start my own business… the list goes on and on.
Then I started running.
When I’m out on the road I have a lot of time to think about things. My shortest run is always at least 30 minutes and my long run is over one hour at this time.
Given that I used to have so many questions about money (and I still do), you might assume that I think about money during my runs, at least some of the time. But I never do.
Sometimes I don’t think at all and sometimes I only think about my positive mantras (usually during my short runs), but during long runs my mind wanders to non-running topics.
I often think about my boyfriend, my cat, my parents, my creative projects and yes, future races. All things that make me smile.
Running has made me a more happy, positive and emotional person. Sometimes I’ll be out running and something I’ll think about will make me well up with happy tears. This actually happens to me quite often (is that normal?). Sometimes it happens more than once during a session (is that normal?).
Before I started running I rarely ever felt so overcome with happy emotion that I would tear up.
I really love the quote, “running never takes more than it gives back.” That’s true when it comes to increased fitness levels, but it’s also true in the way it can positively impact a life.
I’m writing all of this because I think Mary Cain would agree that life is about more than making a million bucks from product endorsements. I think she knows this because she is a runner. I could be really wrong, but I’ve read so many blog posts over the past months from runners talking about how much hitting the road or a trail has helped them in their lives, that I think 99% of runners would agree.
Mary Cain should do whatever she wants. If that includes going pro and securing her financial future, that’s cool. If she decides to stay amateur that’s cool too.
Does running enrich your life and make you a happier person?