Life happens fast. So I run faster.
Actually, I just run longer. I’m not fast at all.
I’m currently in the very early stages of training for my next race, which means adding miles each week. More than a workout or a training regimen, running has become my sort of solace. My energy. My me time.
Today, on #GlobalRunningDay, the weather was perfect for a run, and with each breathless stride I was reminded why running has become such an integral part of my life.
To me, running is…
A reminder to enjoy silence. The sound of my feet hitting the pavement, the cars rushing by or the natural noises along each route are oddly calming.
A necessary escape from screens of any sort. A chance to actually notice and appreciate my surroundings.
A time to clear my mind. Or understand it a little better. I could be a competitive over-thinker if there was such a thing. But when I run, there’s clarity. It’s a hyperactive meditation of sorts. A time to make sense of the whirlwind of thoughts swirling through my head.
A practice of patience. It’s important to know your flaws – or areas in your life where improvements could be made. For me, it’s an issue of impatience. When I run, though, I allow myself to focus on each step, each breath, each mile, and remind myself to take things one at a time. Eventually I’ll get where I’m going.
An acknowledgement of strength. When I run, I feel strong, mentally and physically. I am acutely aware of the muscles in my legs and torso that are carrying me forward. I motivate myself to keep going, even when fatigue sets in. I feel myself becoming stronger, faster, more resilient, more powerful. I’m increasingly thankful for my health, my body and the ability to run in the first place.
A chance to get outside. After sitting in a chair, in a cube, in an office twelve stories high every day, I tend to crave sunshine and fresh air. I become restless and need to move. So, I run.
A burst of energy. Experiencing a runner’s high is a real thing. I am happier, more energetic and more eager to take on whatever’s coming next.
A step toward accomplishing a goal. I make lists constantly. I truly have several notebooks filled with nothing but lists. When I’m training for a race, it’s so satisfying to cross off each run as I work my way closer to race day. If I don’t run, I’m only creating more work for myself down the road. Running reminds me that if I want to accomplish something, I need to work for it and make it happen.
Whether it’s running, dancing, shooting hoops, playing an instrument, trying a new recipe, or teaching your dog tricks, do something you love.
Find something that allows you to be present, to appreciate your life right now and to take advantage of the opportunities you’ve been given. Discover yourself in the things you choose to make time for. Move. Sweat. Breathe. Improve. Enjoy.
“Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24)