By Valerie Wang

Who would actually run in their spare time? While most people run just for sports, I run for the h*ll of it. Honestly, 40% of my motivation to run falls on maintaining my stamina for basketball and to stay in shape, but the rest lies in my personal enjoyment. 

I remember my love for running began in Kindergarten, playing Tag. I really enjoyed being able to dodge the taggers, and especially surprised myself with my gradual improvement of speed. Every recess and lunch, I would sprint around the playground in hopes of increasing my speed. 

As I got older, I began to love running for the feeling of it. The thrill of the wind whistling and gusting in my face, and the feeling of my legs straining to power through. Running is my way of releasing stress, tension, and any other negative energy. Running is how I free my mind and soul. Sometimes the run isn’t even fast—just a small jog helps me think, get some movement, and get outside the house. Plus, running is great for boosting serotonin. 

I usually run laps around my neighborhood, but you can also find me at the Campbell Community Center running, jogging, and working on sprints and bleacher laps. One big must for my runs is music. As much as I enjoy running, I don’t think I can take too many runs without music. Music is great for distraction and motivation.  

I have run almost every day for the past two years, but this past year I’ve been so busy with school and other activities that I’m forgetting to, or I simply physically cannot make myself run. I actually have noticed my stress and anxiety levels have been higher recently—probably due to my lack of personal exercise time. I still get plenty of running through basketball, though it’s never the same as my runs around the neighborhood. The only place and time I hate running is in PE. There’s just something about running in PE that kills my motivation, and the run is always a drag. Otherwise, I strongly suggest going for a run or jog sometime, or maybe find yourself a hobby to enjoy and release your spirit.