Wednesday, June 02, 2010

national running day 2010

wow. i almost missed this. today, Wednesday, June 2, is National Running Day (here in the U.S.).

it's not an official (i.e., government-designated) holiday, but rather an informal one started at the grass-roots level. it's a recent creation, with the 1st event only being a year ago. i'm not sure how it formed or who created it, but i know that it began as a nation-wide project spanning multiple cities and is now being supported by major organizations in the running industry. ostensibly, as stated on the event website, the purpose is to promote running as a "healthy, cheap, and accessible form of exercise" and has a goal of getting the entire nation running.

you can check out the official website:
there's also a "meet-up" page, where you can check announcements (or create your own) of places to meet up with other people to go running as part of this day.
yes, i know, the cynical among you are probably saying this is really just a promotion and marketing campaign driven by the running industry for their products. and i think you have a point.

but my thoughts on this are:
  1. compared to other sports or recreational activities, running is comparatively cheap--all you need are shoes (and even there some people are choosing to run barefoot), while other sports often need special (read: expensive) equipment;
  2. running can be done almost anywhere, while other sports often need dedicated venues or facilities;
  3. running provides benefits to health both personal (physical, mental, spiritual) and communal (as a social activity) that outweigh any potential drawbacks; and
  4. you don't have to pay attention to the promotion & marketing if you don't want to, but instead just enjoy running as an activity that can improve your life
you don't have to be a world-class athlete to run. anyone can do it. and anyone does. it doesn't have to involve a lot of time, a lot of distance, a lot of effort, or a lot of suffering. it can be as simple and as easy as just taking a few moments to go a little way with some energy in a manner most enjoyable.

all you need is the desire to move. from there, it's a simple act to get up and go outside and reconnect with yourself, others around you, and the larger world in which you live...and in a way that makes life better.

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