<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=610462346045315&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
The Alaska Club

TAC Board: The Alaska Club Blog

Why I Run

Posted by Megan Olson | Aug 24, 2022 10:18:19 AM

I have been asked many times why I smile when I run. Truthfully, I have no idea, and in fact, I don’t even know that I am smiling when I run 90% of the time. I can tell you that I have loved running for more than 30 years and sincerely hope I have at least 20 more years left in these legs. My running routine was acquired over time, but the smile comes naturally along with those jogging steps.

My first runs as an adult were simply due to economics. My early days after college, when I lived in New York City, left me with little spare cash for a gym membership, so I ran for exercise because it was all I could afford to do. Even later, though, when I added a gym membership to my life, running remained fundamental in my life. It still is. Running provides stress release, clarity of thoughts and ideas, deep breath, and a sense of peace. One foot in front of the other over and over again makes for progress on the trail, and somehow it can translate into real-life progress, too. Deep thoughts occur while running; poor ideas are killed after I think about them while running… visions, ambitions, and ideas become clear. I never-ever regret going on a run, but I always regret NOT going on a run when I have the chance. The laundry and dishes can wait; they are always waiting…. Just get out and go, put one foot in front of the other over and over, for as long as you feel contented to do it, or as long as you need to have a conversation with yourself or your running partner that day.


Running is therapy, physical and mental. I began running solo in my 20s and then slowly gained the confidence to run with “runners,” no longer intimidated by their experience or discussions of PRs and distances. My dearest friends in the world are the running buddies who have stuck together for years. We have seen each other through tricky relationships, challenging work situations, weddings, divorces, and more. There are just a couple of rules for us: show up on time and ready to go, and what is said on the trail stays on the trail. Deep running conversations remain within the cone of silence, allowing everyone to be completely honest about what’s happening and to get honest, sometimes raw but honest, feedback from others. I am forever grateful for the hours we have spent together discussing and working things out for one another.


Running provides a feeling of strength and power that I can’t achieve doing any other activity. To be clear, I have never been the fastest runner. I don’t win races. I am more often than not a middle-of-the-packer, and the older I get, the harder it is for me to stay in the top half of any pack. That matters less to me these days than continuing to be out on the trails, doing what my body and mind need, which is a run.  


I found community through running, first in New York and later in Anchorage. It’s a community I hold dear, and though I may not know YOU yet, if you and I are headed in the same direction one morning or afternoon, there is nothing I’d like more than to get to know you on the trails while we run. I hope you join me someday; there is nothing I love more than sharing and companionship in the beauty of AK.

Topics: running, fitness, group fitness, gym buddy, workout, healthy living, exercise, personal training, Outdoor Fitness

Written by Megan Olson

Megan Olson moved to Alaska in 2001 and fell in love with Alaska. She is married to Brad Olson and has three amazing kids: Gus (15), Henry (14) and Lucy (12). She is an executive communication leader and served as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement UAA. Megan recently "retired" from her position at UAA to spend more time with her family. Megan enjoys running in the mountains with friends in her spare time, reading, and cooking/entertaining.

Subscribe to this blog

Recent Posts


see all