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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

Many people laugh or question me when I tell them that I have an invigorating love for long-distance running. But it is not a joke or mistake, running has my heart. Nothing can even come close to making me feel the way that running does. Running is my safe place to fall on the difficult days where I feel like I am not enough or am not going to make it successfully navigating this world where we live.

I could be having the worst day ever, nothing going the way I planned for it to, and running can make me feel like for the moment that everything is going to be okay. In the act of a run, nothing such as a problem I am facing or a struggle I am dealing with matters at the moment. All that matters is that I put one foot in front of the other. Hearing the pitter-patter on the concrete one after the other reminds me that I am here and I am trying my best in all that I do, and that that’s truly all I can physically do, which is enough. I can be alone with my thoughts and self on my runs and let myself enter this trance of deep thought and contemplation.

It is extremely ironic that the action of running, which is a time when the heart rate speeds up making it harder to breathe, is the time where I truly feel the most alive. It is an incredible feeling knowing that this is my passion, this is what makes me happy, and that is all that matters.

In fact, I love running so much that I actually get sad after my run is complete. Most people feel amazing once the run is complete, feeling accomplished. But I, on the other hand, am filled with a lingering desire to keep on running, and it often makes me sad to think about how I have to wait for an entire new day to be able to go running again and enter my safe, happy place where I truly feel like myself.

As long as I have running in my life, I know I will be okay. I struggle with an immense amount of anxiety on a daily basis and running helps to calm me down and put things into perspective. It reminds me that my worries or struggles are not as big as my brain is making them out to be, how all that matters in that moment is a steady breath and pace to keep me going.

I can’t even fully express or put into words all that running means to me because that is merely impossible, it is so great that it cannot even be captured in words. So, when people ask me why I love running, I usually say what I’ve said so far. But this doesn’t even begin to truly encapsulate all that running means to me, it means more than I can even explain. It makes me happier than anything and helps me feel like myself. It is everything to me. So yes, I love running, it’s not a joke or misunderstanding, running means everything in the world to me and I sure hope that it will continue to mean everything as my future unfolds.

Hey I'm Claudia (my nickname is Dia :) ) and I am a Kinesiology major! One of my deepest passions is long distance running, and I recently just ran my first half marathon last March. I also love bullet journaling to manage stress & anxiety, reading, and listening to music. I am also very involved with topics of managing mental health and love reading inspirational or hopeful quotes!