Why I run

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By Jasmin Ybañez

DIPOLOG CITY — Non-runners usually ask why I run.  With my hectic schedule as a wife, mother, teacher, gardener, and entrepreneur,  I’m still able to juggle running into my active lifestyle for the following reasons:

I love nature. I run to explore and immerse in nature. I love running new routes and trails. Finding new places and enjoy the beautiful views that give us fresh perspective.  While running I can feel the wind in my face sometimes hot but most of the time it’s cold, the scorching sun and the heavy raindrops or drizzle ( pag ma abtan ug ulan). I can smell the scents of fragrant flowers, the rice hulls and the salty sea. The sounds of the chirping birds, the crashing waves and the whistling wind are like music to my ears. I love to see the plains the valleys and the hills. I appreciate the green colors on rainy season and how it changes brown during the summer.

Running often takes individuals outdoors, providing a unique opportunity to connect with nature. The rhythmic footfalls on a trail, the scent of fresh air, and the sights of natural beauty create a profound connection with the environment. This communion with nature enhances the overall sense of well-being and offers a therapeutic escape from the confines of urban life.

I love to eat.  I don’t want myself crave or deprive from eating my favorite pasta, ice cream, desserts, adobo, paksiw, kinilaw, sweets, kakanin and etc.  I can still eat three meals a day with snacks but not gaining much weight because I balance it with exercise either running, biking, climbing and swimming.

I like to detach from the digital world. Aside from reading and gardening, running is also my way to withdraw from social media platforms as it gives unending beeps since GC was invented specially during Pandemic that we allow students to connect with us through messenger.

I love solitude.  Naturally, I am an extrovert person but there are times that I love to be alone. Though most of the times I run with friends there are hour or hours I will be “running alone”. Solely entertain your own thoughts and cater your own exhaustion even you are running side by side with another runner who also focuses in his or her struggles. Sometimes I run alone in the countryside to be with my own thoughts and to  escape the roars of the City. In the fast-paced, interconnected world dominated by screens and notifications, the act of running emerges as a joyous escape—a deliberate detachment from the digital realm. Beyond its physical benefits, running provides a unique opportunity to liberate oneself from the clutches of constant connectivity, offering a respite that cultivates joy, mindfulness, and a profound connection with the present moment.  The joy of running is intricately linked to the liberation felt when unplugging from the digital world. In this detachment, there is a profound sense of freedom — no emails, no social media updates, and no digital distractions. The mind is liberated from the constant stimuli, creating a mental landscape where thoughts can breathe, ideas can flourish, and joy can take root.   Running, as a joyous detachment from the digital world, offers a holistic experience that goes beyond physical fitness. It is a deliberate choice to reclaim joy, mindfulness, and a genuine connection with the present. In the rhythmic cadence of each step, runners find a space where the digital noise fades, and the simple act of moving becomes a celebration of freedom, mindfulness, and the sheer joy of being alive.

Running helps physical and mental health. Physically I am strong. I run to stay physically fit. Running builds strong bones, improves cardiovascular and strengthen my muscles. I strongly believe that active body has a sharp mind. Running regularly can spark growth of new blood vessels to nourish the brain. Running improves memory, focus, better task-switching ability and elevates mood.

I love to meet other runners.  Running connects me with others. Though running is a solo thing, running with friends for social support is way better. Through running I met a lot of incredible and inspirational athletes that somehow given me motivation to improve my running skills. Running with friends who shared with same sanity is important specially training for a marathon or ultra.. You can share and exchange techniques, tips, advice and even comparing your running plans will make running fun, easy, memorable and fulfilling. Moreover, the running community itself becomes a source of inspiration and support. The camaraderie among runners fosters a sense of belonging, creating a network of individuals who share similar aspirations and challenges. This sense of community contributes significantly to the overall fulfillment derived from running, as it transforms the solitary act of putting one foot in front of the other into a shared journey.

I like to inspire others. As middle -aged woman, a mother and a public- school teacher at Deped and a Visiting Lecturer at JRMSU Dipolog Campus, people assumed that I am busy as a bee. I inserted running in my already full schedule and started joining Fun Runs. During the race my goal is always to have a strong finish. As part of Sutoy Dipolog, one of the oldest running Teams in the City our mantra is to observe the triple S: finish  Safely,  Strong  and Sexy. Podium is just a bonus thing.   Years passed, I met and heard from few women that I inspire them in my little ways. Right then, I realized that I found my purpose and reason not to stop running. From then on, I run with a purpose. I run with my heart on it. To inspire others especially women, I need to focus on building a character that care others’ health so I can promote my advocacy. I invite, encourage and motivate people to engage in running or other type of physical activities. And to be able to do that, I have to excel in what I do and lead by example.

Self-fulfillment. One of the most gratifying aspects of running is the ability to set and achieve personal goals. Whether it’s completing a certain distance, improving one’s pace, or conquering challenging terrains, running provides a tangible platform for self-discovery and accomplishment. The pursuit of these goals fosters a sense of purpose and direction, instilling confidence and self-esteem. As I progress in my running journey, I often find myself pushing beyond perceived limits, discovering reservoirs of strength and resilience within. This self-discovery not only fuels the passion for running but also spills over into other areas of life, fostering a holistic sense of fulfillment.

In the pursuit of self-fulfillment, running emerges as a transformative experience that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. Through the liberation of the body and mind, the achievement of personal goals, and the connection with nature and community, individuals find a profound sense of purpose and satisfaction in the simple yet powerful act of running. As the miles unfold beneath our feet, we discover not only the strength of our bodies but the resilience of our spirits, embarking on a journey of self-discovery that goes beyond the finish line.

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Author’s email: jasminybanez71@gmail.com

 

 

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