Why Do I Run?
Sometimes I find it hard to come up with an answer when some inconsiderate person questions my (or our) sanity because we thoroughly enjoy running. I couldn’t even explain to you why I am a runner. I just am. And most great things that have ever come into life are because of it. As a child, it saved me. Literally. As an adult it keeps that spark inside me that reminds me that hard work and persistence will one day get me to that finish line. And also, because I met you (only runners are reading this).
In a way it ticks me off that people even question us. Like, is it really any of their concern? Do they really have the right to question me? I already know they wouldn’t understand it even if I tried to explain. Honestly I think it would be the same for us to ask them, “Why do you love your wife (or husband)?” Everyone of us has a reason and that reason is our reason and good enough.
And so I go back to my childhood, a lonely and horrible place that I hold in the deepest part of my mind and I used to think that it was that time of my life that actually “made me who I am today.” Bullshit. I wholeheartedly believe that it was actually running that got through it and helped mold me into the woman I am today. It was the one thing I could actually do as an individual to get away, be in control, and feel free and strong. I laugh now when I look back at photos of me after a race and I am completely dead – hunched over without anything left in me. I could barely breathe. I hardly feel that way after a race as an adult and I wish I still felt that way. For some reason, as an adult, we seem to hold back too much, over-think and over-analyze everything. Man, if I could still run with a kid’s mind and heart, I’d be a much faster and competitive runner. 🙂
Anyway, the point is that my running started for one reason and it has evolved over time. It is still evolving. I used running to get me through that time of my life and later to get scholarship money for college. I used it to stay fit. I used it to stay sane. Then I used it to hit other personal milestones that I created for myself. Now I use it as a reminder that this world is amazing and fragile and that I am so lucky to be a part of it.
Funny, I guess I really do know why I am a runner and maybe you do too. Whatever your reason, you don’t owe an answer to anyone.
You are 100% right when you say we don’t owe anyone an explanation for why we do what we do. I run for so many reasons and it depends on the day, the month, the year or even the moment. As a teen I ran to get away, I ran to feel something and try and be a part of something. In college I ran because I thought I was destined for it, and I was part of something and that being on a team made me a better person. Over the last 3 years that I have been running distance (5k-marathon) I have ran for health, fitness, to get away from my problems, to be with friends, to be without friends, anything. My reasons for running are constantly changing.
I almost get offended when people ask me why I run. I don’t go around asking people why they drink, or smoke? I don’t go around asking people why they work or breathe…that how running is to me..its like working or breathing, it is just something that I have to do and want to do and need to do. No questions asked.
April 25, 2013 at 11:31 pm