i’ve recently learned that there’s a large population of people who don’t understand “runners”.
i’d like to start off with a disclaimer that i am by no means a seasoned “runner”.
yes, i run.
i’m not quite sure when the bridge from recreational running to “runner” running happens.
or if it happens.
or if it’s a matter of perception.
i can’t vouch for what sort of motivation a trackstar or a 2-hr marathoner possesses.
i’m not quite sure.
i don’t run to compete.
i run…to run.
i run because i can;
because i am healthy
because i am privileged to only work 8 hrs a day
and have adequate shoes
i run because i know people who don’t fit these circumstances,
people who have heavy obligations,
weak or battered bodies,
or live in communities where they don’t feel safe to run outside.
i run because at one time, 6 years ago, my body was fatigued
and i couldn’t stand up
or tie my shoes
or have a conversation
without becoming exhausted.
i run because i find satisfaction in pushing my (now) healthy body to become stronger.
i run for those moments i couldn’t.
i run for my dad,
who runs (much faster than i),
despite the constant aching of his joints and back.
i run to feel
sweat and salt drip down my face,
heaviness in my lungs,
and my heart pump, fast.
i run to hear
and my shoes hit gravel.
i run to smell
and, in wisconsin, “farm” smell.
i run to see
litter on the side of the road,
shapes in the clouds,
and people who look at me as they drive by and probably think i’m crazy.
running is a mental game.
sure, you can be physically ready to run mile after mile…but what will motivate you to do it?
my dad and i teamed up to complete a marathon relay this past weekend.
it was an absolute blast.
as dad rounded the corner, wrapping up his 13.1 mile stretch, he handed me an orange baton.
i took it
and ran my leg of the race.
with an ear-to-ear grin for the first 13 miles.
(i reserve my “game face” for the last .1 of a race.)
spectator after spectator commented on my facial expression,
“you’re doing well- you’re still smiling.”
“i’ll see that smile at the end of the race.”
“atta girl! love your smile!”
“she’s having fun!”
they don’t know why i was smiling.
they don’t know why i run.
though i love it, running isn’t “fun” for me;
running sometimes leads me to total physical exhaustion.
which, in turn, strengthens my physical health.
running sometimes leads me to total mental exhaustion.
which, in turn, strengthens my mental being.
this is why i run.