Why

So, I’ve been approached (a while ago) to be interviewed for an article in a magazine. I’ve held them off for approximately a year because there were some questions that I did not know how to answer, that I knew they would ask and they confirmed they would be asking.

After reading a friend’s blog this morning and seeing an entry that she wrote for another blog titled “Why I Run”, I decided that I needed to start figuring out “Why I do what I do”. Because essentially that is what this magazine will be asking – on a much deeper, more personal level. So, I might as well get some practice in while I can and maybe hammer out some of these answers. Plus, due to a terrible glitch in an email system, I just received over 300 emails with half of them telling me to keep doing what I am doing. The fixing of the glitch couldn’t have happened at a better time.

So, first step to the “Why I do what I do” answer without having to write too much…I’m going to focus on the same “Why” that my friend wrote about…”Why I run”.

I was a high-school and collegiate athlete and even though I was not on track or a long-distance runner, I think I ran more in my sport than any runner in a running sport ever had. Running was part of my life from a young age. My Dad took up running and ran a couple of marathons and was typically out running every day after work. During the summers he would make me go run to get my training in for my sport (non-running sport I might add if I haven’t already made that clear). College hit and there was more running although it did slow down a bit…well, then it wasn’t running on an open road it was running on a track and sand stairs…and more sand stairs. After my time as a college athlete (and a couple of knee surgeries later), I went back to running. It relaxed me. It relaxed me in a very turbulent time in my life because it was just me out there. No more, no less. I was the one who could decide if I wanted to push myself that day or just be leisurely about it. It was just me sweating out the ick of life that had accumulated. I found a completely new view of running – for me.

This type of running has now been more a part of my life than the ‘athlete’ days. Where someone was always there with a stopwatch or behind you telling you to move quicker, be faster. My running is all about me and it is a reminder that my life does need to be about me a little more often.

It has been a few years that I’ve been really dedicated to running. In the past two years I’ve gotten back to it and just recently I’ve found myself dedicated to it again. Why do I run? I used to run because I had to. Then I ran because it showed me that I was an individual.

After Doug died, running was just a stress release. At first, most of my runs involved tears pouring down my face. Especially, seeing a dad and his son out together…Then my runs evolved into just feeling better, able to handle more in my life. Then I stopped for a few months. Now I’m at a place where I really want to run. It makes me see things more clearly, it makes me feel better, I can handle the days and I can handle the darkness that creeps back in every once in a while. Through running, my head has become clearer and I’ve become bolder. I’ve learned that I can move forward. I’ve learned that all things come in time. I’ve learned that it does need to be about me. I’ve learned how to be the old and the new.

Today I run because I find – myself – every time I put my shoes on…I find the new me. I find the me that has run through hell as well as heaven.

That’s why.

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