why i run
It’s been a while, friends. The past two months have been a wild ride, but I think the roller coaster is nearing the end of its tracks - for this loop, at least... June marks so many things, but most notably, or maybe up-there-with-super-notably-things notably, it marks a month of new opportunities. A “get shit done” month, if you will, and it starts with a long overdue blog post.
Today, it turns out, is Global Running Day. Somehow I miss this every year, despite how so much of my world revolves around putting one foot in front of the other, but this year I’m celebrating. I’m celebrating with a run, but I’m also celebrating with a “why.” A couple of months ago, I shared this essay I wrote about how I got into running (and how I almost broke up with it). It was an easy, lighthearted piece peppered with humor and a hint of vulnerability. “How?” is the easy question. “Why?” is the scary one, though. I’m finally ready for the why.
Most people know that I moved to Oklahoma to save the dolphins (and if you don’t, believe me I note the irony in that statement, and it’s a story for a different day). What most don’t know, however, is that I also moved here to escape a toxic relationship. I was numb when I loaded my car in the middle of the night and drove north without any solid plan. I clung to that numbness because it was easier than the shame and fear and turmoil that filled me up. I held on so tightly that it became my new normal. Honestly, that numbness saved me, though. It kept me upright and able for a period of time too embarrassingly long to admit to. It worked for me right up until it didn’t. I needed to be me again, and under the guise of exercise, I started to run.
I run to feel something.
I run to find clarity amongst the confusion.
I run to be okay with the gray areas that persist.
I run to find rhythm.
I run to accept an off beat.
I run because it’s a struggle and I look for my strong.
I run to disconnect, yet I run to feel connected.
I run to see the world around me better.
I run to see myself better.
I run to find grace.
I run for the grit.
I run to fall down and get dirty, and I run because it reminds me that I can get back up and keep going, no matter how bruised my ego is or how bloody my knees are.
I run because my legs allow it and I don’t want to waste my body.
I run because my heart craves it and I want to keep filling it up.
I run to discover my weaknesses, and I run to build strength.
I run because it gives me permission to be stubborn as fuck.
I run because it reminds me that balance isn’t optional.
I run because I have a tribe and mountains and adventure.
I run for the exploration.
I run to find solace in routine.
I run to find inspiration.
I run to be kind to myself and I run to be kind to others.
I run because I want to.
I run because I have to.
I run because I fear what happens if I don’t.
To anyone out there who has run a few steps with me, thank you for being on this journey with me, even if only for a few moments. Happiest of National Running Days to you. I hope you were able to put one foot in front of the other, smiled a lot, and toasted this day and your able body with the most delicious of beers. Slåint!