15 Reasons To Love Running That Have Nothing To Do With Fitness

Photographed by Winnie Au.
If you're not a runner, and have never liked running, it's easy to look at a herd of joggers and think, What is wrong with all of these people? There are plenty of reasons to dislike running: It requires stamina, it makes you poop, it's hard on your muscles, and it can be boring. But for every person who vows to never lace up a pair of sneakers again, there's a handful who downright adore it.
While running technically is exercise, for many people it's more than just a workout. Running can be meditative, soothing, and even spiritual. Going on a run is a way to meet like-minded people, see your neighborhood through a new lens, or just unplug from life for a chunk of time. Some people seek the elusive "runner's high," while others find finishing a mile to be reward enough.
Every runner is different and has their own story about why they enjoy the sport, or how they learned to love it. Ahead, real women share what gets them up and running — besides the fact that it's a workout.