Happy National Runners Day: Why I run

There is no thinking involved. It’s part of my routine. Wake up. Drink coffee. Go run.

Running has become part of who I am, as intricate to my being as air, water and Nutella smoothered pancakes. In some ways it’s a surprising turn of life events. In some ways it makes total sense.

Running can feel like total ass. It can be hard and frustrating. On those days, running reinforces the life lessons of both patience and perseverance. I usually encouter the feel-like-ass types of runs when I need one of those life lessons — like letting go of perfection or trying to dicatate the outcome.

Running can feel like freedom. It can be pure joy and discovery, showing me things I otherwise would have missed. It introduces me to new people and takes exisiting friendships to deeper levels.

Running doesn’t quiet my brain. Nothing really quiets my brain. It is filled with incessant chatter. If over-thinking were an Olympic sport I’d dominate the gold medal count. But running does quiet my soul. It opens my heart. Running isn’t only about the physical — it unites the phyiscal with the emotinal. It’s integrative therapy.

I make sense of the world through words. Writing is how I impart order on the chaos, or at least organize the chaos into something understandable. (Others achieve this through numbers. They trust the math. I’m grateful these people exist. They give balance to us word people.) But running is how I enter the world. It’s my state of being, the place where I don’t need to find the answers or the right words. I don’t have to solve problems or create masterpieces. I just have to put one foot in front of the other. 

This is why I run. To simply be myself. As I am. In that moment.

Happy National Running Day.

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