What If Everyone Ran?

by Melissa on March 10, 2014

It’s time. I’m ready. Some may call me crazy for letting it go for so long. Some may think it’s just been an excuse. Some may say I just gave up.

But I didn’t.

I just follow my heart.

You see, running for me has never been easy. Ever. I’ve written about my evolution as a runner not once, but twice. I’ve written about how I felt it saved my life. I’ve written about how it’s one of my greatest accomplishments. The thing is, we all have a story. Running might be incredibly easy for some…like they were born to do it. Running for others is simply there as a workout. No connections. Nothing deeper than calories burned. Some people have been running for decades, and some for only a few years. Some just started. Some ease right in and other continue to struggle.

There’s one thing that running is for everyone, though: beneficial. Like whoa.

Mizuno, who reigns as the running brand in our household, recently shared an amazing statistical analysis that gives the public an idea of just what would happen if everybody ran. To me, this isn’t a surprise. I know what running can do for the body, for the mind, and for overall health, but this isn’t the kind of information that is known to everyone. The numbers are astounding, really, and are nothing short of motivating and inspiring.

To give you a quick idea of the ones I felt were the most important (this list is huge!), if everybody ran,

  • 7 billion more hours would be spent outside
  • 48,081,000 fewer cigarettes would be smoked (which means we’d see a major decrease in cancer cases!)
  • 143 billion fewer dollars would be spent on health care
  • 135 million fewer hours would be spent watching TV
  • 200 million inches lost from American waistlines

(You can read the paper explaining the analysis here.) It’s amazing. It makes me smile.

Not everyone can run, but you never know until you try right?

You don't know until you try
For me? It’s never been easy. It does get easier, but it’s never been truly easy. One of the lessons running has taught me is that everyone has a story – that everyone comes from a different place. I happen to have a pretty emotional relationship with running, and I miss that. And here’s where I get a little personal…because, like I said, everyone has a story. As many of you already know, I blamed it (and myself) for the miscarriage I had back in July, and it’s been tough getting my head and my heart back into it. My heart’s been pushing…and pushing…and pushing…but my head’s been pulling me away. Blaming. Connecting the bad with the good. I thought I was ready to recommit in November, and I started to…but as the cold weather crept in, I began to think about all the things I wouldn’t be experiencing.

But I know that God has a plan for us. For me. And I know that, but I haven’t been myself…and things won’t change until I let it back in.

Because I gave up on something that made me free. That made me happy. Something that made me the healthiest I’d ever been. Something that let me ease the stress, clear my mind, and open up. Something that connected me to nature. I gave up on running…and I haven’t felt the same since.

I’m ready. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to be tough, because I know how long I’ve been without it. I’m going to start slow and steady…and I’m going to listen to my body. The weather is is warming up, and I want so desperately to feel that sun on my skin, feel the dripping sweat run down my face.

It’s time. And Mizuno said it perfectly…

“And it all starts with one more run.”

It’s time for me to run. So by the time you all read this (whoever’s still out there reading – I’ve been gone so long)…I’ll have either already run or be running my first run since November. Today is my oldest’s 7th birthday. Time is flying, and I need to keep being a role model for my girls. I need to be strong.

I need this.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

carla March 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

It does JUST START WITH ONE.

I think it’s so easy to get overwhelmed and think MARATHON or RACE too.
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:25 am

I think “races” and “marathons” are things that most people connect to running, because it definitely racing does have quite the community! They (races/marathons) aren’t requirements, that’s for sure, and if we move to get more people running, then that stigma of “what makes a runner” can soon be replaced with “I run therefore I am…”. People also think you have to be fast and that it should be easy…when that’s just not the case. It’s not an easy thing to do! Well, not for most people. lol But I think it’s important to understand that running as a movement can get easier and is FAR more natural a thing to do than sit. :)

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Krysten (@darwinianfail) March 10, 2014 at 8:12 am

Love Mizuno and this new campaign! And I also love RUNNING!! So I am so happy that you are getting back into it! It has always done wonders for my soul and I know it will do the same for you! SO WORTH IT!
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:26 am

Thank you so much, friend…it’s definitely worth it and I feel guilty for giving it up for so long, but it is what it is. I can’t take it back, so it’s definitely time to move forward! The campaign couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Lisa @ RunWiki March 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

I love how vulnerable you are, how you always put it all out there–in your writing, your photography, your meals, your life and your running. Your passion and guts are awe inspiring. Love this post, love how Mizuno gathered this information and how powerful our sport can be.
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

Your words mean so much to me! I’ve been debating this blog for so long…and in that time I’ve tried to figure out whether or not I want to continue to put myself out there. There are so many people who get off on ripping others apart, and while yes, I am a blogger and should have it, I DON’T have that thick skin. It’s somewhat thick, because I know the REAL truth about myself, and I can absolutely maintain my composure – but I think people forget that a computer screen can make you feel bigger and badder and meaner…and it can allow you to hide your emotions when it hurts. But it doesn’t protect the heart. Words here on the web are real words. So I’ve definitely argued against my “vulnerability” MANY times. But it’s who I am…and it’s important that I continue to be true to myself!

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Kelly March 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I know what you are going through. My miscarriage happened after a particularly hard run and I still can’t get over it, that day and movements I can recall very clearly. I have a goal race and timetable to get back into running and I am looking forward to the healing process, but I am extremely scared.

Sending you so much love for this run, I hope you find the peace you need.
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:43 am

Well, friend, I’m here to say while I find comfort in knowing I’m not alone, I am so sorry for your loss. I *knew* I was pregnant on a particular training run with my husband. I could feel it. My heart rate was up, I had some RLP in my left side, and something just felt…new. The moment I grabbed the pickle jar out of the fridge that night, I knew it for sure. lol And we kept running. Never pushed too hard. I didn’t want to give it up. But we went on vacation to the beach – I stayed hydrated and cool – and came back, ran, and had our first u/s. No heart beat, but our youngest did the same thing. We had Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago the next week and we decided not to run it. Just in case. The m/c happened ON the day of the race. I believe that had I been running and it happened, I would never have run again. I’m wishing you lots of amazing, healing runs, Kelly. Let’s do this together, yes? <3 Sending you my love.

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Tamara March 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Love the info Mizuno pulled together! And echoing Carla’s comment that it doesn’t have to be an endurance event to count!
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:49 am

Carla definitely said it. I think it’s something people see as a “requirement” for running…it’s just not. There are definitely people who believe you should be up at 4:30AM, running half marathons in less then 1:30:00, and need to have 293487987907 completions behind you, but the more people we get running just for health, the harder we can tear that stigma apart.

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Mindy @ Road Runner Girl March 10, 2014 at 4:34 pm

I LOVE this idea from Mizuno! And I LOVE that you are getting back to running!!! You can do it girl!!! :-)
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:04 am

Thank you, friend…it’s been a long, weird, emotional road, but it felt amazing to get back out there and do it yesterday. 2 miles to start…slow and steady, felt great!

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Abby @ BackAtSquareZero March 10, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Love this Mizuno campaign, it is amazing!
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:03 am

You’ve got that right! I’m head over Elixirs for it! (Ha. See what I did there? lol My kicks of choice.)

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Linz @ Itz Linz March 11, 2014 at 8:10 am

LOVE this campaign! itz PROOF that moving makes people HAPPY!!
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Melissa March 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

Oh absolutely!! There are some profound numbers in there that slap reality right in the face, too! $143B is spent on obesity-related health care every YEAR and it’s the one number that stands out most to me. (The amount of research I’ve done in grad school…shhheeeesh.) It’s a clear indicator of just how much movement can impact overall health. I’ve loved Mizuno from the moment I tied up the laces on my first pair…and I’ve loved everything they’ve stood for as well. Big fan. So proud of FitFluential for getting involved with campaigns like these!

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Alysia @ Slim Sanity March 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Those statistics are pretty amazing.

I used to run pretty frequently, but I don’t too much anymore. Only when I feel like it, which I do from time to time. I enjoy running at my own pace, it took me a while not to feel down about running a bit slower. But when I run at a pace I can maintain, it’s great!
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megan May 22, 2014 at 6:51 am

i started running last year, and I used to say i was never a sporty person and that running or exercise just wasnt for me. But it did save me. I started feeling confident and happy which for me is a big thing, my friends and family noticed all these positive changes. Trouble is I now have slipped back into my old ways and I havent run since March. I am seriously feeling like I let myself down and trying to get back on track. Thanks for this post, its inspiring to me personally to get back on track.
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