Why Did Forrest Gump Start Running

Forrest Gump, the iconic character portrayed by Tom Hanks in the 1994 film of the same name, became famous for his extraordinary running ability. His journey of running across the United States touched the hearts of many, but what motivated Forrest Gump to start running in the first place?

The Moment That Sparked It All

Forrest’s running journey began during his childhood in Greenbow, Alabama. Being a young boy with braces on his legs and facing bullies, I can relate to the feeling of wanting to escape and find a sense of freedom. Similarly, Forrest found himself in a situation where running became his way of breaking free from the constraints of his physical disability and the challenges he faced.

Running as a Symbol of Freedom

As Forrest grew up, his running evolved to become a powerful symbol of freedom. I can imagine the exhilarating feeling of wind rushing through his hair, the rhythmic pounding of his feet against the ground, and the sense of empowerment that comes with each stride. Just like in my own running experiences, I believe Forrest found a sense of liberation and control that he might not have felt in other aspects of his life.

Dealing with Loss and Grief

Throughout the film, it becomes evident that running also provided an outlet for Forrest to cope with loss and grief. The passing of his beloved mother and his best friend Bubba were undoubtedly heart-wrenching moments. Like many of us who turn to sports for solace, Forrest used running as a way to process his emotions and find solace amidst the turmoil.

Love and Determination

Furthermore, Forrest’s love for Jenny played a pivotal role in his running journey. His determination to keep running in the hopes of finding her and rekindling their connection showcases the profound impact of love and companionship. Running became a manifestation of his enduring commitment and unwavering hope.


Forrest Gump’s decision to start running was driven by a complex interplay of personal struggles, the pursuit of freedom, coping with loss, and an unwavering determination fueled by love. Just as each of us has our own reasons for lacing up our running shoes, Forrest’s journey reminds us that running can be more than just a physical activity – it can be a profound and deeply personal odyssey.