I’ve tried on many occasions to capture, with a limited degree of success, the essence of why I run. My runs have been a journey unto itself, going from a tub of lard to marathoner.
Running has been my rock. It has helped me navigate through undergrad and law school. Unemployment and job transitions. Cross country moves. The murky waters of broken relationships. The day after I ended a relationship, I went for a blistering (for me anyhow) paced run. By the end of the run, I had managed to find some semblance of myself. Running may not have solved my problems but it has helped shape my perspective, to see things in a new light.
I have run solo runs on misty mornings to clear my head, and scorching long runs with my training partners. Hill repeats that left my quads and calves screaming, and lung searing speed sessions. Self inflicted torture? Hardly. Because with each hill repeat or track session, I learned to push the boundaries of my physical and mental limits.
One particular morning dawned overcast and gray and I ran the familiar paths down to the beach. It was one of the coolest mornings we’ve had in a while, and I rejoiced at being able to run in such weather.
Running past the beach, I could hear the sound of lapping waves, which was incredibly soothing. A gust of wind blew right through me, and something stirred deep in my soul. In that moment, I knew exactly why I ran.