Sunday, June 26, 2011

Running: A Good Friend

Towards the end of my 20 mile long run this morning, I wondered why I voluntarily get out of bed early Saturdays and Sundays to run, especially when it does not pay the bills. Am I insane? Normally these questions would not be on my well-rested mind. Sheer exhaustion was tainting my attitude.
My family and I enjoyed a night of socializing at a party. Most of the people at the party were not runners, but...
because running is a big part of my identity and I’m in pursuit of running 50 miles for the Children’s Home as my next goal, the topic of running 20 miles in the morning surfaced. Most people responded by saying, “why in heaven’s sake would anyone run 20 miles?” And, "what, you run without music?" It is common for non-runners to wonder why runners push themselves physically and emotionally, especially without economic incentives.
Well, the party went on and on. It was a great time. But, like anything we indulge in, there’s a price to pay. My price was crawling into bed at 11:30 only to hear my alarm resonate at 4:00.
Like always, I immediately get out of bed. I glanced over and there was my wife, all snuggly on her side of the bed. I dragged my weary body across the floor to begin my daily routine of dynamic stretching, followed by cereal, banana, and a cup of jo. At least it wasn’t raining, trying to put a positive spin on the situation.
So, why do I run?
There's certainly is no glory in it and more often than not, I'm pounding the pavement alone; it's just me, the road and my thoughts. Pushing my body to its limits comes from unrelenting motivation. Running is about mind over matter.
Last summer I ran  in South Florida, persevering through the heat and humidity. I have run during snowstorms, with the wind blowing freshly falling snow into my face and torrential downpours. I have seen gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. I have run on sandy beaches with my son, dashing away from the waves, pretending that the water was hot lava, laughing and yelling, “run, run before it burns you.” Running is natural and brings out the kid in me. Running clears my mind. Running helped me maintain my sanity while living away from my family for months. Running helped me lose weight, reopened the doors to healthy living, and defeated my pre-diabetic condition. Now my running can help children. 
Running is a good friend of mine.

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