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Why start running? Leisure? New sport? Health? Lose weight? Friendships? Promise? Do you think you can be an athlete? Want to complete a specific test? Family? All this together and separately?

The other day a friend, recently divorced, came to talk to me about things in life and running came up in the middle of the conversation, quite by accident. She has an athletic background, but had never thought about running. And although I’ve been a runner for a long time, I’m not one of those running apostles, those people who keep trying to convince everyone around them to run. In fact, depending on the approach or insistence, I even find this a bit annoying, I think the person has to want it.

At most, I might serve as an example, either through longevity or insistence. When looking at me, people must think that running is for everyone, since I’m far from having an athlete’s physique or bearing but I continue to practice running without caring about it. Ok, the most pessimistic people can see me and think that running is a bad way to lose weight (and it really is, the best way to lose weight is to get your diet right) or to get a shape like a soap opera actor. But if I haven’t improved that much, over the years I haven’t gotten worse either, which maybe is a good thing, right?

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But in the end, this friend ended up starting to run, maybe because of the simple enthusiasm I have for running, because of the trips I take to run, because of the friendships I made while running, and maybe even because of the fact that she realized that I have aged less than other people in my life. same age as me and who are sedentary. Or maybe because her dream is to participate in São Silvestre with the plaque in Cerquilho, since she is from there.

What matters is that she started it and she tells me she’s loving it. And one of the reasons is that running regularly is helping her a lot to catch up on ideas, reduce anxiety and change a little the life she had before the divorce. A new direction, a new perspective, a new horizon, it doesn’t matter, what matters to her is that she’s doing something new and she’s loving it.

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Physical and mental health is one of the main reasons to start running. Despite my bad example, many people use running as a support to lose weight, change their body, and really transform themselves. I’ve already lost count of how many ex-obese people, some of them morbid, I’ve met on the run, already skinny and extremely happy for having managed to change their lives through and with running.

But health is not the only reason. There are people who are in good health, physically and mentally, and start running because they want to try a new sport. The fact that the race has become popular helps a lot. The friend who went to run the Rio Marathon, the co-worker who went to run the New York Marathon, the exhibition of race medals in the office, at family parties, walking in the park and seeing that many people running, that helps very. Why not do it too? Sometimes it’s hard to get people together for a football game, but to run, just go out there.

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There are people who start running influenced by someone in the family. Because you want to make new friends or because existing friendships called you to run. There are people who start running to pay off a promise, because of a bet, because the company where they work has a running group. There are people who think they have talent for something, and sometimes they really do! It doesn’t matter, the fact is that everyone who starts running has a reason.

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And me? Well, there are many reasons why I started. I don’t even think any of them alone are exactly enough to justify why I run. I wanted to run a São Silvestre because I always saw it on television when I was a kid, but I also wanted to run because I was starting to feel that I needed to do an aerobic activity because age and the kilos started to arrive. I also started running because in soccer with my friends I was the best on the team but I wasn’t the worst on the team because I could handle running all the time (in other words, in soccer my only problem was the ball). And I also started running because a friend ran and if that fat guy, who was practically a foosball player in our football, could run 10km in a test, I thought he could too.

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And now that I’ve started running, what to do? Well, do what you want! Dream about that marathon or the first 5km race. Focus on the pounds less and peace of mind. Think of the pleasure it is to be able to accompany your husband or wife, your old friends or new friends. Prove to that friend that you are capable or fulfill the promise you made. Starting to run is starting to have new goals, new dreams too.

But most important of all, you have no reason to stop running!

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