Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Own It

(From the Archives)

Why do you run?

Really, why do you do it?

Chances are, your answers to that question will sound similar to mine, similar to thousands of people who, early in the morning, or on their lunch break, or in the cool of the evening lace up their shoes and call themselves a runner.

No matter how similar sounding our answers or how in-common our responses, each one of us owns the reasons why we run. That is the beauty of a solo sport. Regardless of whether you run on a team, or run with a partner, or run with a club, or any version of social running, at the end of the day, when you kick off your shoes and stretch out your quads, this running thing, its yours. Its mine.

Maybe you run as a means to an end. Perhaps you picked it up when you were trying to lose a few pounds or lower your cholesterol. Perhaps for you, running is an emotional outlet that keeps you grounded and happy, gives you some "me-time" in your day. Perhaps you want the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal, crossing the finish line and being able to say "I DID IT". Maybe you run just because you can.

My relationship with running, when it was newly "out-of-the-closet" has been described by some as an affair. Like other love affairs, it is a complicated story and honestly, I sound somewhat like a lunatic when I try to tell it, so I will save that for another day. But I will tell you this much, I was born to run. Obviously not in the same way professional runners or Olympic athletes were born to do it, but running is something I am just supposed to do. Lacing up my Sauconys and hitting the trail feels like coming home. Those of you who know me, know that I have been training to run my first marathon. These past few months have been some of the most peaceful in my life. I am certain that I am meant to do this, passionate about it.

Unfortunately, this has not been easy for me (not that training for a marathon is ever really easy). You see, I am not what you would call a natural runner and I get injured..... a lot. Yet my dedication to the sport, and my conviction about who I am as a distance runner never wavers. I don't say that to sound arrogant, because honestly, it can be a very frustrating place to be sometimes, when I find myself in the middle of the trail, pain throbbing in my knee or shin, wondering why God would give me such an amazing gift then make it so hard. Why would He give me such a passion for this, such a determination over it, such joy within it, and then allow me to struggle so much?

I don't know the answers to those questions just yet, but I do know that for some reason, for me, this is supposed to be hard. And all I can do is own it... and run with it.

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