I am very passionate about running and I am not afraid to show it. I post about running on Facebook and Twitter. I do post run selfies on Instagram. But why do I love it so much? Why do I want to share my love of running with others?

I have many reasons for being so passionate about running but sometimes struggle to explain my love to others when asked. Since my motivation is so low lately I thought I would write on what running does for me to help get me out the door.

1. Weight loss – A few years ago I hit my highest weight ever. I only had a few pairs of pants that fit. And by fit I mean squeezing into. I decided that was enough. I started running and calorie counting and the weight started coming off. I am now a healthy weight and want to keep it that way and keep improving my body. Running has helped me drop weight and change my body for the positive.

2. Accomplishments – When I started running again I decided to do a 5K. I wanted to the UW-LaCrosse Turkey Trot. I have attempted to run off and on since my early 20s prior to that I hated running. When I was younger my asthma wasn’t well controlled and running was difficult; I couldn’t run a mile as a child. I hadn’t learned how to work with my asthma. I always heard about the UW-LaCrosse Turkey Trot and thought I would never be able to do it. I started running on the treadmill during college. Eventually I could do five miles but I hadn’t attempted much running outside. Life got in the way and I quit the gym and gained weight as priorities shifted. When I decided to lose weight I committed to running out doors. I made the decision to finally tackle that 5K. I did it and it was hard but I did it. It felt amazing to cross the finish line. I did a five miler next. I then started running 5Ks and other shorter distances all the time. Eventually I decided to attempt a half marathon. Another challenge. Another tough race. Another chance to prove to myself that I can do it. Another accomplishment. Racing makes me challenge myself. Can I do this distance? Can I beat my last time? I have now set my sights on a marathon in January. I cannot wait to see if I can do 26.2 miles. I am confident with the right training I can and I will finish it, just like that very first 5K.

3. Camaraderie – I used to always run alone. I never knew anyone else that ran. At first I was ok with this. I didn’t know any better. My dad ran my first 5K with me; it was nice to have someone with you. I went to a lot of races alone. It can be difficult to be alone before and after a race since it is such a social setting. A few times I was able to convince someone to do a race and being able to share the experience makes it much more enriching. Then I joined a running group. I cannot even put into words how amazing a running group can be. They are incredible encouraging and fun. They helped me shave 9 minutes off my half marathon time. We do a lot of the same races and it is just awesome to have others cheering and supporting you. I only hope I encourage them as much as they do me. My running group has become my running family and I am blessed to have found them. I love getting together with them for a run and post run breakfast!

4. Me Time – I am an introvert. I have to be “on” all day at work. When I run I can be me. I don’t have to talk to anyone. I don’t have to act like an extrovert. Running allows me to recover from work. I love putting in my headphones and just go. Running also relieves my daily stresses. My brain is constantly thinking but when I run, I don’t think. My brain finally stops spinning while I run. I don’t have to worry about anything while running. I get to relax and reduce my stress as I recharge my spirit.

There are many smaller reasons for why I run but to me these are the biggest (and I don’t want to bore you much more). Of course I run for health reasons other than just weight loss or stress. I do enjoy other workouts besides running but I do them for different reasons.

What are you passionate about and why?


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.