Why I Run

I started running because I didn’t have any other choice.  Running saved me. Where there is darkness there is light – running is my light. But I didn’t know that when I started running.

During a dark time in my life, quite by accident, triathlon was introduced to me. With little consideration I was determined to take on a triathlon, but well, there was this one thing at the end of a triathlon called the run portion. While I am a strong swimmer and an even stronger bicyclist, the run was the part I grudgingly with hatred accepted as something I would *have* to do in order to call myself a triathlete. So I trained for my first triathlon, and I dreaded every day a run was on the training schedule. I hated every mile I ran.

The first time I decided to run turned out to not be a run. I couldn’t even get down the block without feeling as if I were about to go into respiratory distress. But I kept going. I ran for one minute and walked for two and completed the one mile distance I set out to do in this fashion. And I did the same the next day, and the following day, and so on, until one day I realized I had run a 5k without stopping.

The swim and the bicycle portion, don’t misunderstand, was never easy. But it never took out of me what a run took. During the most difficult times, it was the run that I held onto. It was what I had to overcome. The swim and cycling was something I never felt I needed to overcome . It was always the run – and I hated it for that.

Wisconsin USA Sept.2011

The run is still the hardest part for me. I am not fast but I run for hours at a time now. I do not run for trophies or applause. I don’t run to beat my PR. I do not run to set records and most of the time I leave my GPS off – it doesn’t matter how fast or slow I go.

I run because it is a solo sport where my thoughts have no constraints. I run because it does for me what no anti-depressant can do. I run because metaphysically it alters stagnant energy. It changes perspective – what once was impossible becomes possible and what once was dreadful and shameful becomes hopeful and workable. I run because running keeps the darkness at bay.

I sidelined running for some time. The reasons excuses why are not important. What is important is that one day I realized I missed it. But I didn’t realize I missed it until I started it again? Now I look forward to my run days. I can’t imagine not having them.

I run because running doesn’t allow me to quit – in any aspect of my life. I run because it makes me a better person. I run because I love my body – not because it’s perfect, far from it, but with every mile it proves to me that I am capable of whatever I put my mind to. And I run because even though I hate it I love it.

15 Comments »

  1. Love this! You put into words, so eloquently, what it is to be a runner. And then there is that run that feels effortless, where you fly….I haven’t had one of those for a long time, coming back from I jury and illness, but I know one is around the corner.

    • Thanks, Wendy! Definitely around the corner for you – as long as we run, those effortless runs never stay dormant. I had one today (I’m sure part of my inspiration for post) after a long dry spell of difficult runs. You’ll get there because YOU are one of my biggest inspirations! Xx 🙂

  2. I did a search for triathlon posts and I found this one…you see, we both have running as a challenge! I know exactly how you feel, minus the biking and swimming part,haha! 😉

    • Haha I think you should add the biking & swimming, Rufina! And yes, every single day, every single run is a challenge. But if it wasn’t, I don’t think we would of stuck with it all this time. It’s the beauty of running.

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