Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Run?

Life is filled with two types of activities; those we want to do and those we have to do or at least we've convinced ourselves of the latter. 

I run primarily because I want to, but there is a part of me that runs because I have to.  You see life is difficult and so is running.  Life is rewarding, so is running.  The more effort and consistency you put into life, generally the more you get out of it.  Again the same with running.  The theme carries on seamlessly it seems.

It would be self-centered and pitiful of me to say I have had a hard life.  I have not.  What I have had is a challenging life.  The reasons for the challenges I have faced are primarily a result of my own actions.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy running so much.  It is a self-inflicted challenge and I've been good at creating those since I spilled the better part of a bottle of Elmer's glue in a young female classmates hair in grade school.

Running has taken me many places in my young life, introduced me to many people, and taught me lessons and values.  Many of these people, places, and life lessons I'd probably not have known yet were it not for the run.  Running has pulled me out of depression.  It has carried me away from addiction.  It has given me something to focus on when the only other thing polluting my mind was the struggles of a challenging life.

This past weekend I ran 14 miles on Saturday and another 12 miles on Sunday.  Saturday's runs were enjoyable.  A passive peaceful eleven mile run to the start of  a local 5k followed by a memorable 5k run with my family and I ran every step with my son.  Those miles were both happy and easy.  Sunday I ran twelve miles on one of the hilliest and rockier trails in the Dallas area.  The run was beautiful.  I made new friends but the miles were harder, more challenging, tightness and fatigue from the prior days efforts fully set in.  Those runs were not the hardest thing I did this weekend though; that was taking my son home to his Mother and driving away.  We do this every other week so one might assume we are "used to it".  After seven years I have to say it is never easy for either of us.  I feel for him.  I hope it makes him strong.  I pray it does not create the inner-struggles for him that I found growing up.  I dream that he will find running in his life to be that part of him, that part of him that parallels life.  That thing he chooses to do.  The thing he wants to do.

Run to feel alive.  Run to stay alive.  Run because it reminds you you can do anything.

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