If you know me, you know I love to move. I’m not one of those people that can sit still for long periods of time. I get restless. There’s so much I want to be doing, so much I want to experience.  So many miles to run.

When I’m out on the roads, on the trail, or (ideally) on the beach, I’m at my best. My absolute, can’t-beat-it, top-of-the-world best. Mentally, physically, spiritually.  My mind is clear, my thoughts are racing around, my lungs are taking deep breaths of fresh air, my body is strong, and the endorphins are flowing.  When I’m running I get my best thinking done. I solve problems. I gain perspective. I connect with friends, and even strangers on a deeper level.

Running has brought me so many things. Peace, strength, clarity, friendships, a sense of accomplishment, community, freedom. It’s also brought me my highest highs (the finish line of a marathon) and my lowest lows (a stress-fracture in my foot).

It’s also brought me something somewhat unexpected – connection.

I’m a naturally out-going person. I love people. I love getting to know people. I especially love finding out that you have everything in common with a new friend, the little nuances, and all.  I’ve also found, that at 30, it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to make new girl friends. Quite honestly it feels a little like blind-friend-dating.  How do you find these people that have things in common with you? Where do you find them? Will they even like me?

Running changes that.

When you run with someone, it’s not about the competition. Running isn’t about me beating you, or you beating me. It’s about starting together, and finishing together. It’s about dealing with what comes at you during your time on the road. I want you to hit your goal as much as you want me to hit mine.

I travel quite a bit and because of running, I’ve made friendships with people all over the world. Actual friendships. Friendships I confide in, friendships I fight to maintain even with miles between us, friendships I give my all to.  In London, I know who I can count on to pound the pavement early with me and get whatever’s eating us off out chests.  In New York, I know connection is just a run or a SoulCycle class away.  In Seattle, I know who to turn to for a head-clearing workout and a heart-warming chat over coffee.

The act of movement can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s a way for our bodies to get stronger. It’s a way for our minds to get clearer.  It’s also a way to connect. With every step, and every mile.

About Author Kristine Ciardello:  

I'm into all things active - SoulCycle, yoga, barre, running, you name it. I'm a certified Pilates Instructor and I'm kind of in love with San Francisco. I get down and dirty in the kitchen whipping up clean and healthy meals and snacks. I share all things fitness, wellness and health related on the blog www.vinetowind.com.  

*Kristine is also one of Movemeant Foundation's Fit Foodie experts! Check out some of her simple, healthy, and delicious recipes on our instagram, @movemeantfound!