The idea of being a runner has always lingered in the back of my mind. However, the actual moment that it became reality was in February of 2010. A co-worker/friend suggested I run a half marathon with her. I quickly agreed and ran almost every day for the next 6 months. Then I began writing my thesis and after another six months was graduating with my Master's in education. I never gave up on running, it simply took a backseat to my every day life.
After the birth of my 4th child, I desperately wanted to get back into my running shoes, but with post-partum depression, the transition wasn't as smoothly as I would have liked. Now, almost 4 years after my transformation began, I am back into a nice running routine. Oh, how I've missed it so, and how I now understand just how important running is to my well being and sanity.
What Running Gives Me:
When I run, I typically do it alone, and after long hours of soul searching I have finally come to understand why I prefer the solidarity of running to being with a group.
When I run, the only expectations that are placed on me are by myself. And actually, those expectations change with each run. I may challenge myself to run faster one day, run further another day, and simply to move my feet on hard days.
When I run, I'm not concerned about my financial situations. I no longer worry about bills or plans for future growth. I'm no longer ridden with anxiety over my bank statement but instead I'm concentrating on the movement of my body, my breathing, and the strain of my muscles.
When I run, my hamstrings don't care if I cry. I shed tears over lost loved ones, lost dreams/goals, and lost identify of myself which I struggle daily to find.
When I run, I belong to a group much larger than myself. As I pass other runners, there is the occassional nod, finger wave, or even the comment given by a vetran running. Those are the moments that move me forward, that connect me to others when I feel so distant and removed from life.
When I run, I free myself from all the criticisms, thoughts of failures, and I simply tune into the conversation being held between my mind and body. Yes, running lowers my cholesteral, blood pressure, and heart rate. It strengths my lungs, muscles, and bones, but it also gives me clarity and honesty. I can not be someone other than who I am when I run. I can not be better or worse than I am as a runner. With word, I can protray my life a certain way, but with running what I have is what I am, there is no sugar coating it, it simply is what is it.
And this is why running is as much a part of my being as breathing. It's the moment that I reconnect with myself, that I push myself to see what I'm really made of, and then I collapse with a new found truth that I made it and I'm strong enough to make it through the next run.
Running doesn't care if I failed at being a good mom, a good wife, or even a good friend. It doesn't care what my credit score is or if I made that deadline at work. Running expects nothing more from me than what I give it. It gives nothing more to me than what I put into it. Running is self discovery while in motion. It is my drug and fuel, my therapist and commrad. Running is who I am, who I want to be, and who I strive to be better at. No matter where life takes me, as long as I can tie my shoes, I can run, and sometimes just knowing that is enough to get me through another moment, until my next run.