To many people, running seems abject crazy. We get asked all the time why we do it. Love, like and passion are the usual answers. The real answer though, is LIFE. Running is our life. Our soul. Our being. To describe it any other way would be a gross injustice to this life-changing activity. But it does not start this way. And that’s the beauty of it. It finds its way beautifully into our system and slowly takes charge of everything. How we think, act, behave, eat, sleep and live. In every runner I know, this happens in a progressively transformational way. The key to this start is community. A nervous beginner with no history of active indulgences is warmly welcomed by the neighbourhood running group. Warmly welcomed because each one of them started just the same — awkward, nervous and introverted. From not being able to run a mere 100m without feeling their lungs explode, or their body coming crashing down, these beginners go on to run a full 1km at a stretch! And that’s HUGE for someone one who could not even run 100m. That sense of achievement is addictive. All made possible because the group ran with them, motivated them and handheld them. And does that stop there ? You bet no. If you can run 1km you can run 2km. If you can run 2 you can run 5! The first 5km is a major life changer for many. What was thought impossible and beyond limits is now firmly in their grasp! This phenomenal psychological boost starts showing instant positives at home and at work. And continues at play. So the 5k becomes a 10km and that’s when they know they’ve arrived as runners whose lives have taken an inadvertent detour towards health and happiness. They eat healthier, sleep earlier, rise earlier and get a head start over the rest of their lazier slumbering peers. Not to mention the pleasantly shocking transformation their body goes through in this process - leaner, meaner, fitter, nicer. And the mind? Of course sharper, smarter, stronger, saner. From there on it’s a journey to get better each day. Better at running. Better at life. In a truly sustainable and enjoyable way. The community that helped shape this transformation continues to cheer, motivate and be part of every success and disappointment in equal measure. The nervous beginner is now an entrenched part of the community themselves, a complete runner replete with self-confidence, new friendships and good health looking to give back to others what was given to them. And so goes the life of a runner. Making a better life for themselves and others in this all encompassing and transformational circle of the runner’s life. Our lives. Which is why we run. Simply put.