I’m not a fast runner. You might even call me a jogger. I’m learning as I go the tools I need to make my running more efficient, my recovery time faster, and the ability to enjoy the overall run.

I am now a veteran of two half marathons and have officially been a “runner” for about 2 years (or I at least I have all the gear a runner has) so I’ve been trying to pin down why I run.

After much thought and many miles spent pondering the question, I realize I run for me. I run to clear my head. I run to forget about the day’s worries and to solve problems. When I’m on a good run and caught in my head, the ideas are endless. When it’s just me, the road, and music in my ears I am as close to free as I guess I will ever be. I could easily go home, cut on the TV and get buried in the couch. But I won’t. I want to think, resolve issues and get in touch with my surroundings.

I run for my family. I hope that my running puts me in better shape and makes me a better father and husband. I hope running puts me in shape enough to where I might live a few years longer and have more time with them.

I run for the friendships I’ve made. My friend Darron from Arkansas and I became friends on Twitter and Facebook just because we were running the same race. Now, each time we’re in Memphis, we meet up and go to the pre-race pasta party together.

My friend David and I met at a charity event that the Alabama Dept. of Highway Patrol was having in Tuscaloosa. We met again at a race and recently on his birthday we joined up as a team and ran the Warrior Dash and are talking about training and competing in the upcoming GORUCK Challenge in Birmingham.

The camaraderie between two or more people who have the same passion for running or any other sport or thing is immeasurable.

I also run for charity. I’ve run for disaster relief, to stop childhood cancer, breast cancer, and diabetes, to help raise awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters, to promote health and wellness, and more!

I have participated in the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon for the last two years and can honestly say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  When you get between miles 4 and 5 of the run you’re in a very industrial part of Memphis framed by gray buildings with large metal doors and train tracks. Then as you get to the corner of 2nd Street and turn left onto Shadyac Ave. you see it, the hospital that we’ve all heard about and donated to for so many years. The hospital that has changed the way the world looks at childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

We run through the “campus” and lining the streets, on either side, are patients, parents and doctors. Arms outstretched waiting to tag our hand as we go by. The screaming from the hundreds in attendance can be overwhelming but you’ll never get enough of hearing those people yell, “Thank you!” at the top of their lungs. It’s more encouragement than I have ever gotten doing any one thing.

I swear that when I’m running that small quarter mile stretch of road, angels are lifting me up and soothing my sore muscles. That is why I run.

I run to make a difference in myself and the world I live in.

My advice to anyone wanting to start running or the casual runner is, “Just go! Do It!” If you want your legs to stop, they will. You are your own worst enemy. I live and breathe it every time I run.

If running is not your thing, find what is and go for it. No one is stopping you, but you.

Happy running!

If you would like to donate to my St. Jude running page you can do so here. Thanks!