Lifestyle

Running helps make your body and mind happy | Health and Wellness

Whether Kelsey Dunn is running on the rough terrain of a cross country course or the smooth surface of the track, she’s pleased with her surroundings.

The Redmond High senior athlete is giving her body a workout and is in the presence of friends. It’s an ideal world for the 18-year-old.

Dunn, who has competed at five high school state meets, has been seriously running for the last four years and doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.

“My main thing is the team camaraderie. There’s something about being active and having a great time outdoors,” she said. “My best memories are the people I’ve met. It’s the relationships I’ve formed that keep me going.”

During competitions, Dunn said she always challenges herself to do her best.

“When your coach says you’ve still got more in you, you push yourself to the limit,” she added. “When you finish, it’s an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.”

Running can also turn a bad day into a good one, said Dunn, noting that she’s seen her mental health improve with a solid effort on the course.

“When you get out and get running, you have the ability to change an outlook and make it more positive,” she said.

Carlos Fontenot was also a Redmond High track standout and these days runs the Redmond-based Thunderbolt Track Club, where he coaches a host of top runners.

The 27-year-old, who has been competitively running since he was age 14, hopes to test his talents soon at the U.S. Championships in the 200-meter run and long jump.

Running makes him feel happy — in body and in mind, just like Dunn.

“Even when it hurts during the workouts, after the workouts you feel in shape, you feel healthy, you feel strong. It really helps you sleep at night,” said Fontenot, who finished second in the 200 at state as a high-schooler. “It’s a really good measuring stick of your health.”

For David Cross, a 43-year-old Redmond resident, he feels running saved his life. Literally.

Two years ago, he suffered a brain aneurysm rupture. “I was in good shape, and I’m convinced that’s why I survived,” he said.

Cross, who’s a partner security program manager at Microsoft, ran at Standish-Sterling High in Michigan but took a break from the sport soon after graduation. Three years ago, he and his wife began running with the Redmond-based Eastside Runners club and he’s hooked on running again.

“Running makes you healthy. You feel good and you can enjoy your life. That’s the win-win,” said Cross, who also enjoys wine and food, and says that running enables him to keep those treats on his plate.

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