I Started Running a Mile Every Day—and 370 Miles Later, I've Learned So Much

Fitness can be so much more than a physical challenge. The right workout can break us open in profound ways, revealing truths about our perseverance and inner strength that might have been otherwise invisible. It’s therapy. It’s meditation. And sometimes, it can be hugely transformative. With this in mind, we invited some of our readers to share their own stories of The Workout That Changed Everything—how they found their ideal form of movement and what it taught them about themselves. Below, Amanda Brown shares how she learned to get moving every day—and what it did for her mind as well as her body.

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Photo:

Stocksy

I spent much of last summer feeling depressed. Despite having a new job, it still took all my energy to do anything. If I wasn’t working, I was lying on the couch watching TV. I was tired and lacked the energy to exercise, which led to overeating and weight gain—which, in turn, only worsened my depression.

On top of my low energy levels, I didn’t think I had time to work out. It took 10 minutes just to get to the gym. Then I’d have to warm up, work out, and then stretch. Then drive the 10 minutes home, totaling at least an hour, if not more. That’s a big time commitment, even for someone who spends their evenings after work and weekends binging on Netflix and snacks.

Later in the summer, however, I read an article about a woman who ran at least a mile a day for more than 200 days. Some days she ran farther; some days it was just a mile. But she always did at least a mile. After I read it, I thought to myself, I could do that. Even at my slowest, I could run a mile in less than 15 minutes. That’s a much smaller and more manageable time commitment. In my mind, it also required less energy than going to the gym at a time when it took all I had just to get off the couch.