Before high school, I had never really been the active type. Most of my long, summer days would consist of sitting inside watching television, playing video games, or some other activity that would not require me to put forth any strenuous effort. Exercise was almost thought of as a demon to me. Also, the fact that in sixth through eighth grade, I was a little overweight for my height and age left me not wanting to do anything. Myself being this way probably added to the lack of willpower to get out of the house and change the fact that I was not fit. Going into high school, I started running Cross Country and Track, not knowing that I would actually be successful in them. The only reason I joined Cross Country my freshman year, was because a girl that I liked was running it as well, not because I wanted to get myself in better shape. As the years went on, the reasons I kept running changed. They went from trying to chat with a girl, to wanting to get myself in a better physical shape. Doing this, I had no idea that it would affect me mentally as much as it did. My belief is that exercising to be in a fit physical condition plays a role in how happy you are mentally.
The way that I am today, looking back on my mental attitude from then, I can notice drastic changes to this date. I am a lot more determined in most activities that I do, I like to participate a lot more, and I do not always want to be stuck inside or around the house "loathing everything". The reason for this is because I am in a more fit condition, physically, due to running. Back before high school, I would have never thought that exercising, especially running miles and miles, would have a result of making me a happier individual. In sixth through eighth grade, I was still a happy child, but not as happy about my appearance as I could of been. Running, for me, came at the cost of having to work hard and feel as if I am about to die afterwards, but also resulted in a weight drop of nearly fifteen to twenty pounds over a single year. In doing that it made me more comfortable about my appearance and less self-conscious, in the end, making me a happier person. Happiness is linked to self-esteem (Bailey 1).
Another perk of running for me, is that is has been a major stress reliever. When I am having a bad day, or a big event that leaves me constantly worrying, I can run it out. No matter how bad of a mood I am in, mad or depressed; just having the ability to be able to run for miles to forget all my worries and only focus on pure running and pushing myself to my limits, takes all the thoughts about anything else away, making me in turn, happier, at least for the moment.
I have instilled this belief in my own mind when I think about how happy I used to be compared to how happy I am now. I know that the fact that I am in a better physical condition is one of the reasons I am happier now than before I was. Even the groups of people in school that talked to me changed. I used to only...