For the Love of Running

Fridays have recently be reserved for a long run with my SIL. Just last week, she injured her back pretty badly, so our runs are on hold for at least a month. On our runs, we have discussed the importance of running in our own lives. I am a runner, but not much of a writer, so when I began Kristin Armstrong’s Mile Markers, her intro included two paragraphs about her relationship with running. As I read this, it was as though she had put into words what I could not have expressed. So the answer I now have for why I love to run will be answered with this…

So to understand me and what’s behind the pages of this book, first of all you have to understand why I run. That’s the hardest and easiest question. It’s like asking why we love who we love. We love them because of all the precious moments we have spent together, because of all the intimate ways they understand us, the subtle acts of kindness and grace they offer us, the way they accept us- good and bad- the way they offer us insight when we are stuck in a bad place, the way they keep us humble and make us feel great all at the same time, the way their presence is our insurance that we will never be numb…because we are at ease in their company, because we love them even when we don’t like them, because we like ourselves better when we’re with them, because they lead us to our truest selves. Because we can’t imagine not.
If running were a person, that paragraph would be my love letter. Running has taken me in and continues to comfort, heal, and challenge me in all kinds of magical ways. I am not a good runner because I am me; I am a good me because I am a runner. There is nothing impersonal about anything when I relate it to running. Running is connected to my family, my parenting, my spiritual life, my fitness, my friendships, my health, my sanity, my peace. I can clear my head and solve problems when I run, or make peace with not knowing. I can find beauty, or at least redemption, no matter what. (from the chapter titled “Warm Up” in Mile Markers, by Kristin Armstrong)

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