To me, running is more than a form of cardio. It’s my time to meditate, sweat, and be free. No makeup, audience, or pressure – just running shoes, a playlist, and the road. I run to both lose my breath and regain it, to push myself past my physical boundaries so my mind can catch up. It is so much more than a form of exercise or hobby, but an intimate experience centered on self-respect.Despite the circumstance, I always find myself craving at least a 5km run, good day or bad. I need to move. No matter where I find myself living or visiting I always find my own running route. I look for secluded trails that seem to have no end, that are just surrounded by nature and open space. I inherited my passion for running from my mother. Being a star athlete throughout her high school years and raising 5 daughters while working two jobs, my mom viewed running as a necessary escape (who can blame her?). I remember hearing her get up at early hours in the morning so she could get her run in before work, utilizing her time management skills and drive to properly prepare her body for the next marathon. She always kept track of the km and times, always wanting to improve week by week. While I admired this dedication, my objectives are much different. For me, it’s never a race. In fact I absolutely despised cross-country races in high school, and have never even contemplated a marathon. I never wear a watch or track the miles. I have a general sense of how far I’ve travelled, and if I feel like going I do, if I don’t, then its time to turn around. If I want to walk I do, if I feel like sitting and watching views along Lake Ontario I will. Running doesn’t have to be a testament to prove your ability. It doesn’t need to be competitive or gruelling. It’s an experience that runs through your veins to unveil clarity and accomplishment, moving both body and mind forward. To me, thats more than enough.