“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.”― John L. Parker Jr.
Today is National Running Day! And my media news feeds are exploding with running related giveaways, discount codes for races, running apparel and all sorts of great deals to "celebrate" the day. Did you checkout the giveaway I have going on? ;-)
I asked on my facebook page yesterday what people would do to celebrate... the general theme was "Go out and run!" Yes. Do! Get out there and tear it up! But I also hope that we take a moment and reflect within us why we run and maybe pick up the phone and call a friend who might need a little encouragement to get out there and try running too? There is no community like the running community... We are an open and accepting group competing against ourselves and old Personal Records. It doesn't matter if you are fat or thin, fast or slow, anyone is welcome.
I started running the summer of 2011 because a friend wanted to do "Couch to 5k", and I thought "Well, why not? Surely I can run for 60 seconds..." I wanted to die. Really. I was bound to give up, but she wouldn't let me. Or my pride. After a couple weeks, my friend would tell me how much me going helped her. HELPED HER. I was helping someone with MY running? My piddly stomping and huffing and gasping for breath? I helped her because she didn't like to run in the park alone. I couldn't believe that I was helping! I kept going. We ran our 5k that October and I quit. Well, I kept up with it until I got pregnant with Squeakers that January. I started again this January and have a bit of catch up to do. That first 5k PR seems so far away right now. (And let me tell you, it isn't like it was a super awesome time or anything...)
Today, on my 2 mile run, I reflected a lot on why I run.
To find peace within me and shut my mind's chatter off. Find the rhythm of the feet hitting the road and focus on the things I see around me. Shut off the to-do lists and the shoulda-coulda things I berate myself with.
To prove to the negative self-talk in my head that I really can do this. I can overcome the chronic pain in my hips and my pelvic tilt. My plantar fasciitis is not going to win. My crappy knee is not going to paralyze me. I will not give in to that voice that says I am too weak, too fat and too slow. If I can push two babies into the world without pain meds, I can surely go around the block without stopping to walk. I will run that half marathon in October before the cut off time. I will.
To be more healthy, get fit and set an example to my family. My father has always been thin, but his sisters have battled weight all their lives. My mother's family has been thin, but she has had her own struggles with weight. I have lost 34lbs since I started running again in January. In all honesty, I still have quite a ways to go. I'd like to lose over 80lbs total. Running isn't going to be the only way to do that, but it's a start. The more active the parents are, the more likely children will be too. I run to overcome the lazy in me!
To to feel better physically and mentally. After I prove to myself that I can do it, the endorphins kick in and I feel like I got over an obstacle in my path. I CAN run! ...Maybe even a marathon someday. I had always been the fat kid who came in last for "the mile run" in P.E. But I am going to conquer that self doubt within me and overcome any excuses I am so good at coming up with.
Ultimately, it can all be summed up with:
Tell me about you. Why do you run?