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Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

The Student News Site of Punahou School

Ka Punahou

How To Enjoy Running

Brycen Lew ’26

Rays of sunshine bathe me in warmth as my hair flutters in the fresh breeze. I listen to the rhythmic beating of my heart, placing one foot in front of the other. As I run alongside the shore, the ocean sparkles perpetually, blurring into a shimmery golden haze at the horizon. Each stride pushes my lungs to work harder, but I smile at every neighborhood dog and muse at the mesmerizing silhouettes of beachgoers on the shore. Waves wash into the glowing sand in soft shushes. The sky, a shade of pale orange. Everything is a little brighter from the setting afternoon sun. My Apple Watch vibrates and narrates my mileage, signaling the end of my run. With my heart filled with gratitude and accomplishment, I relax my pace and head towards my house. 

Although things have changed recently, I did not always enjoy running. I dreaded mile runs in P.E. class and struggled to believe that running could be anything more than plain torture. Consequently, my fitness was not at its best throughout most of my life, and for years I chose to ignore the signs of my poor immune system until I simply couldn’t. During the last few months of 2022, my physical health collapsed before the flu. I caught the seasonal virus circulating on campus, and those months were filled with never-ending sniffling and coughing. It was incredibly difficult for me to focus on my schoolwork; it took everything I had to even open my eyes in the morning. My body was in shambles. I realized it was calling for me to put it back together. 

In January of 2023, I decided to start running regularly for my health and well-being. I promised myself that I would run at least three times a week. After weeks of trial and error, I finally settled on a routine and split that worked for my busy schedule. I continued to commit to my running goal and started noticing how, with each run, I felt stronger. By February, I gained significant confidence in my running abilities. 

Still, running felt more like a chore than a hobby; I quarreled with myself endlessly before each run, desperate for an excuse to skip it. In my mind, I inflated the idea of running into a much scarier and dreadful deal than it actually was. All I could think about were the negatives. I took the same route every time and was bored out of my mind. I was intimidated by the speedy middle-aged runners who would zoom past me, and I thought they would judge me for my relatively slower pace. I was tired of wearing tacky dry-fit class shirts that had been rotting at the back of my closet for years. 

One day in mid-April, I chose to go on a new route. Instead of turning left at the crossroad as I would have done, I turned right, towards the beach. The run was an absolute blast. After months of stressful and reluctant runs, it took one good run by the ocean to change my mindset around running. It clicked that running is as good as you make it out to be. Sure, there’s lots to hate about running, but there are just as many ways to make it enjoyable, like taking a scenic route. Enjoyable running is about romanticizing the experience from start to finish.

For the remainder of the month, I focused on doing just that: romanticizing running. I bought quality athletic clothes and planned out which matching set I would wear for each day. I stopped myself from spiraling into self-consciousness when I encountered other runners. They were striving for their goals, and I was working towards mine. It was never a race because we were, I finally realized, going at a different pace. I added fun twists to my routes, like taking a cool-down walk through my neighborhood marketplace. After running, I took long, refreshing showers while listening to my favorite relaxing music. I no longer dreaded running; instead, it became an energizing ritual. 

There are some things in life that you simply have to do, whether you enjoy it or not. For me, it was running. Running could have plagued me for the rest of my life, but I chose to enjoy it, and it’s a choice I don’t regret in the slightest. So I also encourage you: find ways to make your tedious tasks more enjoyable, and you just might fall in love with it. 


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  • K

    Kumu KyleeOct 14, 2023 at 9:05 am

    Mahalo for sharing your internal thoughts and journey. This is a very introspective piece and I’m happy you have found something that sustains your health.