My family runs. My wife, my 11-year-old daughter, my 9-year-old son, and even my two dogs love the thrill of getting outside to go for a jaunt through the woods or around the neighborhood. So, I took notice the other day when I heard someone say that "running families are always the nicest people." Of course, I always thought that was true, but it was gratifying to hear my secret theory being confirmed aloud in public by a complete stranger.
What makes runners nice people?
Stress Relief: This one seems obvious. What better way to let go of the stress you absorb throughout the day than a run? I always return feeling much better after a run.
Common Ground: Our family talks about running, shoes, racing schedules, diet, PRs, and other running topics. We all contribute to the conversation and we all are invested in the subject. How many other sports allow for the entire family to participate in the same event and be on the same team?
Shared Pain: Who doesn't appreciate the agony of side stitches, blisters, and running hills? When things don't go so well we seem to know the right words to say, because we've been there too.
Shared Joy: Age group awards, personal bests, great runs, new trails, and successful races are shared accomplishments to be enjoyed and celebrated by all.
Environmental Awareness: We take care of the world we occupy. To run on the roads makes one appreciate safe drivers and responsible pet owners. It makes you think about your role in keeping the environment safe and clean for yourself and others.
Healthy Living: When you're healthy, you're usually happy. Running helps keep all of us healthier so that we can avoid the pitfalls of poor health.
Goal Setting: Long-term goal setting contributes to a focused and positive attitude. Runners have to see the bigger picture and appreciate that hard work produces results.
Discipline: See goal #7. Perseverance takes lots of personal discipline. This carries over into other aspects of life including school and work.
Humility: There is always somebody running faster or farther than you. Runners know this and remain some of the most unpretentious people I know.
Self Confidence: When you train hard and you feel good about yourself, it shows. Hold your head high and run with your back straight and your eyes forward.