It’s official – I have become one of those obnoxious people who rave about the joys of running while chatting with friends at cocktail parties. I know – I usually want to shoot those people when I see them, so I understand your sentiments. (Please don’t shoot me.)

Bear with me for awhile… (or run off to another blog and come back when I’m talking about things that don’t annoy you).

On Wednesday, just after I’d finished a vigorous 7 kilometre run and came home sweaty and red-faced like you see in the picture below, I opened my friend Desiree’s post, and she had done her Wednesday Wisdom video about the power and impact of sweat. She quoted Rev. Jesse Jackson… “Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. While tears will get you sympathy, sweat will get you change.” I burst out laughing at her impeccable timing. Little did she know I was at that moment leaning my head away from the computer so I didn’t drip all over the keyboard. I sweat A LOT. Just ask my children, who like to laugh at me after I run.

Seriously though, it feels SO GOOD to sweat. If you don’t have a regular activity that brings out the sweat in you, maybe it’s time.

Here are a few of the benefits of my morning running routine (and almost any sweat-inducing exercise regime.)

  1. Energy. I rarely get that mid-afternoon energy slump when I’ve been running.
  2. Change. My body is changing – for the better. No, I haven’t lost much weight, but it feels healthy and strong and my posture is better (which is also partly due to my breast reduction surgery).
  3. Epiphanies! My brain does wonderful things when I run, and often my best ideas show up during this time.
  4. Alone time. When you’ve got as many people making demands on your time as I do, you certainly appreciate 45 blessed minutes when not one expectation is waiting to be met and not one person is interrupting your thoughts.
  5. Community. Although I love to run alone, it’s quite lovely meeting other runners and doing the smile and nod that says “hey – we’re in this together!”
  6. Music. I don’t often spend 45 minutes of uninterrupted time listening to good music, but when I run I do.
  7. Neighbourhood. You get to see more of your neighbourhood streets and notice more of the interesting details than you ever do in a car.
  8. Meditation. The repetitive movement of your footsteps on pavement really does magical meditative things to your mind.
  9. Sunrise. And mist on the river. And early birds getting the worms. And all that is beautiful in the early hours when the world is waking up.
  10. Something to talk about at cocktail parties. Ha!

Have I convinced you yet? Or do you still want to shoot me?

p.s. I just discovered that my friend Julie Daley wrote a great post about the joy and pride of being “women who sweat“.

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