Why I Run
I stood on top of the hill looking down the trail. Just seconds ago, I had been running; arms in a forward L shape, parallel to my sides, pumping back and forth; hands in loose fists meeting my hips. I ran up on my toes, on the balls of my feet. I could feel the crisp dirt underneath me. I had a medium stride and had to push to bring my knees up.
I had learned running form from my high school cross country coaches by carrying rocks to keep my arms low, at my hips. We ran through the sandy hills and arroyos in the beating hot sun.
This time I was running a mountain I had run before. I had run many mountains before. I had run up over the barren hills, rolling one after another. I had run through the arroyos in the rain-my legs sending me forward as I maneuvered the curves on the trail; the mud flinging up behind me covering my legs with splatter. I had run in snow, in cold, in heat, on mountain trails with tall pines, along river paths with falling autumn leaves, on hard street sidewalks, around lakes and along rivers. I loved them all! I felt invincible. I felt strong!
Not running is what taught me what running did for me, has done for me and will continue to do for me. Living overseas for 4 years, running was much more challenging and the time between runs sparse. After the birth of my first son, 7 years ago and again before and after the birth of my boy and girl twins of 3 years old, I had long lapses in my running. But...
I would always come back to running. The swerving dirt trails always lured me to them. On a trail, I could feel my body pulsing forward, my speed increasing around a curve, my stride lengthening on a downhill, pumping my arms on the uphill. Running taught me to push beyond my limits. To keep moving forward; one foot in front of the other, even when I didn't think I could.
Running taught me strength, confidence, perseverance.
Running taught me to keep going when things were difficult, when things were hard. Running taught me to let go of the anger - to move it out of my head and my shoulders and my heart and into the air where it would float away sucked up by the trees and the leaves and the dirt and the mountains.
Running made me feel like I could accomplish anything. Like I could climb the hill of life and come out on top - victorious!
And it still does today.
I hope you to learn to love running as much as I do.
See you on the trail.