Treat Yo Self: Run away from your problems

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Treat Yo Self: Run away from your problems

Zachary Russo

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Whether you work a nine to five, go to class all day, or just have a busy schedule, everyone needs to dedicate time to taking care of themselves and doing things that make them happy or help them de-stress. As a high school student, one way I take care of myself is to literally run away from my problems.

For as long as I can remember, running has been a part of my life. My mom has been running 5K’s for over ten years, and her dad has been running 5K’s, 10K’s and even marathons his whole life. My brother joined the high school cross country team when he was only in eighth grade. I remember chasing him around his meets with my mom cheering and screaming. I instantly became hooked on the rush of adrenaline I got from the experience, which I would later learn to be known as “runner’s high.”

So I decided to follow in my brother’s footsteps. On my first day of middle school, I couldn’t wait until I was in seventh grade so I could run cross country and track. When the time finally came, running wasn’t everything I expected it to be. I loved meeting new people and making new friends, but the running part was more difficult than I expected.

I was nowhere near the best on the team. I struggled to keep up with the other guys on my team and it made me frustrated. I knew it was what I wanted to do since I was little. It should have come easy to me, but it didn’t. For many runs, I would come in close to last. However, that never stopped me from working hard to get to where I wanted to go. I started to learn that running wasn’t always about being the best, it was about being the best version of myself.

Fast forward to my high school cross country career. I’ve made friendships with people I never thought I would that will last a lifetime, I’m far better than I was in middle school, and running has become an emotional outlet for me that has allowed me to grow as a person. Whenever I’m down, upset, lost, or even happy, running helps clear my head. There is nothing I need to focus on other than my own thoughts and not tripping over the sidewalk. Some days when I can’t find the time to run, I feel worse and even physically sick.

Running has allowed me to become both mentally and physically healthy and I’m so grateful I found what I love doing. I encourage anyone who is struggling to find their niche or just a way to escape from their day-to-day stress to go out for a jog. It doesn’t matter how far or how long, just get out and run away from your problems.

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