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What do you run for?

Ashley Crossman, Ph.D. is a certified RRCA running coach and ACE personal trainer. She owns her own coaching business, She Runs Strong, and has been the running coach for two charity training teams in Phoenix, Arizona: the MS Rockstars (...

I truly believe that we all have a deeper reason why we run; something personal and possibly even life-changing.

We all have reasons why we run. Sure, we know that running is good for us, it’s an easy and effective way to exercise and burn calories and it’s one of the most affordable and accessible forms of exercise. But beyond that, I truly believe that we all have a deeper reason why we run; something personal and possibly even life-changing. Every runner that I know has a story. What is yours?

Photo credit: Jordan Siemens/Digital Vision/Getty Images

My story started like many. I started running as a form of exercise and to stay in shape. But the more I ran, the more it began to change me, not only physically, but mentally. Running truly changed my life. After years of suffering from a very negative body image and low self-esteem, running found me and changed my entire outlook on my body and my life. It saved me from negative behaviors and showed me how to appreciate myself just the way I am. It also brought me to my husband. So what do I run for? I run for positive self-esteem, a positive body image and healthy habits. Running is my therapy; I run for my sanity and patience. I run for love, camaraderie and to set a good example for my children. I run because it sets me free from all the negative things in life, even if it is only for 30 or 60 minutes. You can do it anywhere, anytime. Just lace up your shoes and head out the door in any direction that your heart takes you.

The beautiful thing about running is that all you really need is a good pair of shoes. Cute running clothes are a plus, too, but really anything will do. I always tell people that the single most important thing to do when beginning a running routine is to get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes that fit your feet, your body type and your running style. Not every shoe is appropriate for every runner and this is the one piece of equipment that can make or break your running career.

I was recently in need of a new pair of running shoes and wanted to try something slightly different than what I had been wearing. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and I have to admit that I was fully impressed with the selection of running shoes that they offered and the knowledge that the staff had about each and every shoe. I am absolutely loving the shoes that I chose and know that they will serve me well as I run for my physical, mental and emotional health.

No matter what you run for, make sure you have the proper shoes and fabulous-looking gear while doing it. Check out the Running 2014: Gear in Action campaign from Dick’s Sporting Goods and get moving.

This post was sponsored by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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