Well, here it is. The time has officially come to start training for my marathon. It started about a month ago but I finally am getting around to posting about it…. This has been a goal of mine since I started running back in college. Something that was added to my bucket list as I started to slowly increase the distance I was able to run and my speed.
There are moments in running when I feel as though I can accomplish anything. That is why I love running. It is inspiring. It is motivating. It doesn’t judge me. Nothing else matters but my relationship with the road. Running just is.
When I first started running, running became my escape. When I was stressed in college, when I was dealing with the pressures of school, of relationships, and of all the other weighty things that just seem to happen in life, running let me leave it all behind or wrestle over the thoughts until I solved all the world’s problems.
Why I Run
A mantra described on Wikipedia means a sacred utterance, numinous sound, or a syllable, word, phonemes, or group of words believed by some to have psychological and spiritual power.
Running is my sacred utterance. It is my mantra.
The pounding of my feet on the pavement provides the rhythm to help me focus. It provides a psychological power at times. In and of itself, it is not spiritual, but it affects my heart, it calms my soul, and provides me the means to realign myself with what matters most.
The thing with running, is that it is up to me. It is about what I want and what I need and what I make it. Not that I want to make running a selfish thing, but when I do it, it helps makes me a better, healthier person. When I run, I pray, I process, I think, or I escape. It is always just what I need when I need it.
One of the most meaningful assignments that I had in college was in one of my Emotional Disabilities Classes. We were asked to reflect on a time in our lives that we felt the worst about ourselves. The time we were at our lowest. Our rock bottom. What a hard thing to do, when these are the very points in our lives, the feelings that we avoid at all cost. We were asked to go there and explain how we felt so that we could be empathetic with the way that our students feel most of the time. We were also asked to identify what we do to decompress.
In an emotionally exhausting and taxing job and in my lowest moments, I need a lightning rod. A lightning rod is meant to focus electricity. It is elevated above a structure and designed to protect the structure. Running is not my lightning rod, God is my lightning rod but running gives me the time and the focus to use my lightning rod in my moments of frustration, anger, confusion, and in my moment of excitement. Whether my schedule is overwhelmed or my soul is underwhelmed, or visa versa (well my schedule never truly seems to be underwhlemed but you get the point), running is an outlet for me.
So I run… I run to escape… I run to embrace…. I run to seek…. and I run because I can.
I have my bad days. I have the amazing days as well but when I push through I know I can accomplish what I set my mind on.
So here it is. A culmination of why I started running in the first place. The reassurance to keep doing what I love and the motivation to push me past what I’ve done. A marathon. It isn’t like I am the first to accomplish such a task…and certainly not the last… in fact I am signed up with a few other people I know! However, for me, it is just what I need to push a little farther, a little faster, and beyond what I used to think was possible.