What Motivates Lena Dunham to Run? Read Her Inspiring Words On Fitness

In an interview with ESPN W,Lena Dunham chats about what helped inspire her to get into running, sticking with it, and her relationship with body image.

Take a look at a few highlights below: 

On her early beginnings as a runner
"Running had always been off the table for me. It just looks embarrassing when I do it. I viewed it like learning a new language — best to learn it as a child. But there was an episode of "Girls" that I'd written with the idea that my character was going to be running. And I figured it would just be typical — we've seen Hannah run a lot and it's pretty goofy, and I figured that's what we were doing. Then my producing partner, Jenni Konner, had this idea that a good way to signal character development would be if my character was running and it wasn't quite as pathetic." 

On her changing attitude towards running
"I started from a place of, 'I'm so annoyed I have to do this.' It was the last thing I wanted to do. When it became something that actually gave me pleasure, I was shocked. Also, endorphins are real. You run with someone for an hour, you feel pretty good. Running for an hour does not make you feel worse."

On what it felt like to stick with it 
"I just feel good knowing that if I were to choose to try and run, it would be possible. Literally, last week I had to run because I was late and I used my principles and I just ran down the street and it felt nice. To run with this increased confidence and the sense that I could actually use my body to get places, that was a pretty big revelation considering I've already been alive for almost three decades."

On posting that trending paparazzi picture of her running
"I'm an open person, but that was pretty vulnerable for me. Trying feats of physicality is not my jam. It had taken guts for me to do it, and when I saw the picture and realized, "Oh, I don't hate what I look like doing this," that I looked like a person who could run, that was just so thrilling for me."


Not usually one to post a paparazzi shot but this fills me with pride. Basically my whole life I have hated running and run like a wounded baby Pterodactyl. It was embarrassing and honestly I did not trust myself to escape a burning building or even move briskly towards a buffet. @jennikonner is directing the season finale of Girls and decided that as Hannah evolved so would her run, so she got me a training session with Matt Wilpers from Mile High Run Club. Within an hour I had a different relationship to this formerly torturous activity. I felt strong, swift and proud. I'm not about to embrace that triathlon life but it's a true joy to continue getting more connected to my body and its powers. (Extra motivation provided by @manrepeller for @outdoorvoices.) #moveforyourmind

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

You can learn more about Lena Dunham in her MAKERS story above. 

NEXT: Get to Know Lena Dunham »

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