Running. I just feel like talking about running.
Maybe because I was out for about 4 miles yesterday morning and I was reminded how much I love it. And how much I miss it. And how irritated I am with this stupid injury that seems to hold me back from the potential I know that’s in me.
I’m not talking about my injury in this post.
I want to just talk about the joy and freedom I have in the act of something so simple that we’re all born to do.
How do we lose the ability? the desire? the joy? of breaking into an open run, feeling our bodies surge under us as our legs kick in and the scenery goes flying by ?
When do we become to old, to tired, to lazy, to disinterested to run like kids ?
But then sometimes, later on, we stumble back upon it again. We gingerly test out the legs and find out they are still capable of performing that task.
For myself and many others, once again, we find ourselves embracing the joy of running in sometimes an often child like way.
Just for the sheer joy and beauty of being able to do it.
To feel the wind and sun in your face or the bite of a cold morning . To embrace being out in the dark for a long run or doing speed work that makes you feel just a little bit …crazy for doing it. The feel of your heart beating strongly and your lungs deeply taking in air, sweat forming on your body, the sound of your feet against the road.
To nail a 20 mile run… and actually enjoy the tired ache of your body…. and the victorious feeling in your mind of accomplishing it.
Maybe the thing I’ve loved about running is how you’re always competing against yourself and how you can always step up your game… just a little bit more……
Running has been good to me.
In the beginning, it was definitely helpful for weight loss. In time, it began to carve and chisel muscles in my body I had only formerly thought existed.
It became my time to think, roll creative ideas through my head, process life, let anger and frustration out, and sometimes, it allowed me to cry and grieve at some of the agony in my life.
Running became my passion. I didn’t see it as a chore or something to be endured, but a gift and a privilege to be able to do it.
I laugh and love it when my friends tell me I’m crazy or nuts, or make all those silly runner jokes.
You know why ? I LOVE doing stuff the majority of people around me aren’t doing.
As time went on and my distances grew from short 10K runs, to setting my eyes on a half marathon, then full marathons, it never entered my mind that, I , little old me, would be a distance runner.
Yet, one thing led to another. A bigger challenge. A new goal. A new opportunity to challenge myself to something beyond my comfort zone.
Needless to say when I set my sights on a 50K last year, that was an adventure that had many asking me if I had lost my mind.
And trust me, if I allowed myself to slow down to much and reallllllyyyy think about it… I too began to see the insanity of running that many miles. And not just that race, but all the training that led up to it, all those training miles under me to get to that point.
Things like that are best not looked that close in the eye.
That’s the deal when you’re a distance runner. You don’t think. You just do it. You get out there, let your body settle into a rhythm and you just…. go.
And besides all those things… besides getting strong and healthy and fit and being called crazy… running makes me feel ridiculously…. alive…. powerful…..strong…. confident… and makes me feel like I can take the world on.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing, do you ?
So my struggles right now… it’s hard… so hard being kept in check physically with a injury that just won’t….be gone..
And wrestling with my mind that knows what my body is capable of, has done, and wants to get back to doing again…. is well… sometimes torturous.
I miss it in the worst way.
But get this… I don’t give up easily. And my mind is plotting and planning and anticipating all it wants the body to get back out doing.
Goals. New adventures. New chances for my friends to tell me I’m crazy and insane. New opportunities to prove to myself I can do something bigger and a little more fierce.
In between times, I’m tearing up the road on my bike with long miles and lifting heavy things to keep strong… and keeping my eye on growing my running distances.
Passion. It’s a good thing to have in life, right ? We all need to be passionate about something… it makes our heart beat fast and invigorates us … hopefully it challenges us as well making us feel alive.
Tell me… what’s your passion? What makes your heart beat fast and makes you feel invincible ?