Sooner or later, taking ownership of something that is happening in your life becomes the difference between simply chasing a trend and actually taking action. Trends come and go, and once they are gone, all their glory goes with them. If you want something to stick, however, you must own it.
For example, I spent a fair amount of money in middle and high school keeping up with the superstar Adidas shoe trend. These shoes were in. The colored portion of the shoe’s design came in different colors, so I definitely owned red ones for bit. I even kept these puppies clean with a toothbrush (white shoes are high maintenance.) Then one day, I didn’t replace my superstars. I didn’t care enough; the shoes were just a trend fading from my life.
Running can be just that: a trend that will eventually fade. It was exciting at the beginning with all the camaraderie and new running shoes. And who doesn’t like feeling fit and unstoppable? But once you cross the finish line of your first race, then what? Do you train for another one and keep at it, increasing speed and distance and set more goals? Or does your running phase simple phase out?
There is nothing wrong with phase running. For some, once is enough. Ran one marathon, no need to run another. Not everyone’s bodies can handle too much pavement-pounding, either, and sometimes an injury gets in the way. Not everyone is a runner.
After running my first half marathon – not without encountering the pain of runner’s knee, I might add – I had to decide: was I going to keep going or was that it? Remember, a full marathon was still on my bucket list.
2013 was the year I began to take ownership of my running. It became much more than an exercise of choice. Running became an outlet, an act of worship, a mind-cleanser. My 13-week journey of marathon training coincided with an extremely tumultuous time of my life. In fact, I still believe training for my first marathon saved me from my depression pulling me under during that time.
You can read more about my first marathon here; I essentially blogged through my entire training journey right up to race day.
After I crossed the finish line of my first marathon, I still needed to decide if I was going to keep going or not.
And I decided to run.
I feel confident when I run. I feel strong when I run. I feel like there is no problem in life I cannot tackle when I run. I feel unstoppable; and I feel hope, hope that the race will soon be over, hope of the finish line that is in front of me, whether I can see it or not. It keeps me consistently setting goals. Even if I decide to run a half marathon instead of a full, I still set a goal and I still have something to run to. Running gives me purpose in a practical sense. It keeps me strong. It keeps me fit. It keeps me healthy. It keeps me moving forward, and forward motion has been a fight ever since depression has become a struggle for me. That is why I run.
Running has become a personal source of emotional stability and physical empowerment. Through running, I have learned a lot about life. I have also learned a lot about myself. It brings balance to my state of being; when I’m not running, I’m not doing as well as I could be in other areas of life. It has taken a lot of discipline to be where I am today in terms of running and physical fitness, and now I say to anyone in full confidence that I am a runner.
Now you know WHY I RUN. Thank you for reading my story.