Running to Get Your Mind Right with Sophia Short

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SophiaShortQuote

I’m Sophia Short – I work as a social media strategist during the day and write and teach yoga on the side.

I started running at a pretty early age – I’m about a year younger than my older brother and he took an interest in running in elementary school so of course I followed suit. Throughout high school, I ran on my school’s cross-country team (hey, it was a sport you didn’t have to try out for!) and completed a marathon my senior year of high school. When my freshman year of college hit, I had a pretty big swing of depression and as a result took a break from running for over a year (more on mental health later!). I started running consistently again when I began working full time and didn’t want to take the subway home every day from work in New York. From there, I moved to LA and the weather is pretty great to get out for runs in the mornings, so running is once again a piece of my life.

SSUphill1000I run about three mornings a week around my neighborhood in Los Angeles (it’s horrifying I do claim to be a morning person) and take walks after work a couple of nights too in my HOKAs. I like running in particular because it can slow down my mind especially when life is busy. With so much going on just in a regular day, all of your thoughts – especially creative ones – can feel like they’re orbiting around in random directions in your brain. Going on a run forces my thoughts to line up, so they enter my mind one at a time. I also enjoy running because I can’t really look at my phone (I’ve face planted a couple of times as result from trying) and that’s pretty rare for me working and side hustling in social media.

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Besides helping sort through creative ideas and settle my mind, a run does a lot to boost my mental health. As someone who has a history of anxiety and depression, having a toolkit of things that help me feel my best is important to me. Exercise is a big tool for me, and having movement be part of my morning routine helps start the day on a clearer note. If I’m feeling anxious, a repetitive activity like walking or running can help settle my mind, but if I’m feeling down, something more high intensity can help give me a jolt. I love my Clifton for runs and the Bondi for walking or a HIIT workout. I do want to note that exercise is a tool, and won’t fix everything, but it has helped for me.

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Running sometimes gets the label of not being fun. Since I’m usually not running for time, something that I’ve started doing is taking photos on my run of things I find interesting. Sometimes this is the sunrise and other times it’s something quirky like a hand painted Stranger Things trashcan in the neighborhood. I think running (or walking) can give you a greater appreciation for where you live.

Sophia is featured wearing the Clifton 7.