Some people await their birthdays with the same enthusiasm as they did when they were eight, while others do their best to ignore the looming date, praying that no one remembers or makes a big deal out of it.
Whichever camp you fall into, why not try something different this year and celebrate your life by getting off the couch and hitting the ground? No, we’re not suggesting drinking so much you fall over in the street—we’re talking about running.
Run?! On my birthday?? you might think. Well that’s exactly what Dean Karnazes woke up and did on his 30th and now he’s an ultra marathoner so impressive Wired magazine once called him “The Perfect Human.”
Sign Up For Your First Race
Many people think about signing up for a 5k to see what all the hype from runners is about, but continually fail to follow through for one reason or another. Some are simply intimidated. What better time than your birthday to find the courage to step outside your comfort zone, have fun (the positive, encouraging, and exciting environment for a local 5k will make you smile), and show yourself you can do it?
Host a Running Party
If you’re already an established runner, odds are you have at least a couple running friends. Invite all of your fellow runners to meet you in your driveway or favorite running location, join you on a birthday group run, and then head out for a celebratory meal afterward.
Find a Trail
Most runners train on the roads, which are convenient and often viewed as safer. Trails, however, offer a little something special that pavement just can’t match. Whether you opt to enjoy the scenery solo or bring your best running pal along, treat yourself to a trail run on your next birthday. There’s just something special about spending time with Mother Nature that makes turning another year older seem nothing less than an absolute gift (ahem, because it is), rather than dwelling on the negatives of aging. It really is true what they say, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Little else makes you feel as young as running through trails and forest hundreds of thousands of years old.
Share the Gift of Running
Sign up to volunteer at a race. If you’re not already a runner, be warned that the experience is highly likely to inspire you to want to try. Race atmospheres are absolutely magical with the palpable positive energy flying through the air. If you’re already a runner, taking your turn helping out from the sidelines will likely fill you with pride of your sport and gratitude for the volunteers in all your past and future races. In other words, you can give yourself the gift of appreciation; something that will get you far in the running world – in all worlds, actually.
The Age Race
Run a mile for every year old you’re turning. Hey, it worked for Karnazes! The run sparked something inside of him, and he is now one of the most notable American ultra marathoners. You could be next. Or not; you may barely survive the crazy present to yourself, but either way, you’re experience a memorable birthday adventure!
Your birthday is a celebration of you–give yourself the gift of health, and perhaps be surprised by how much fun you have spending your big day on the run. Happy birthday!