I used to think runners were crazy. Then I became one.

I’ll tell you a secret: I am adept at running from just about anything. I have run from love, from truth, and I have even run from happiness. But if you had told me two years ago that I was going to start running for real, with my own two feet, I would have said you were nuts.

(Left: Where I run in North Palm Beach, Florida.)

It turns out that channeling these energies into running physically has completely changed my outlook on life. I was a mental runner from birth– for reasons I will not explain here. My friends back north probably recall that I was always thin. Last year, I found myself unable to fit into my pants. I decided to start running, and it took a month (or less) for me to lose eight to ten pounds and get back into my jeans. What started as an attempt to save money by not buying new clothes, quickly escalated into something highly enjoyable, and it wasn’t long before I had almost forgotten the reason why I began running in the first place.

Only a few months before I started, someone said to me, “Why don’t you run?” I scoffed and said, “Are you kidding? And look like one of those¬†weirdos¬†out there on the road? I mean, don’t you think they look silly? The only time I’m going to run is if someone is chasing me– it has to be a darn good reason!”

I remember the day I told that very same person that I had gotten up at six in the morning and run around the block.

Running is one of the most freeing activities I have ever taken part in. It makes me feel like myself again. It makes me feel like a kid. Best of all, I can meditate by concentrating on my breathing and the sounds around me.

Running is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. And I’m running my first 5k in October.

I used to think runners were crazy. Then I became one.

(Above: Running over the bridge on Prosperity Farms Road, North Palm Beach, Florida.)

Note: All photographs were taken by Rosa Sophia and are copyright. Do not distribute or use without permission.

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