Monday, February 6, 2012

I was Running.....

Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain't easy.
--Mark Will-Weber

I can't believe I'm about to publicly age myself like this, but here goes. This month marks a special anniversary in my life. It is one that the rest of the world would probably think is very stupid, but this is my blog and personal blogs are obviously narcissistic since they are about the person writing them, so whatevs.......Happy 20th to me.

 Twenty years ago this month was the first time I tied on a pair of running shoes for the purpose in which they were intended.

And I sucked at it. In fact I sucked so bad that I didn't even make the junior high track team. And my brother had been the number one half miler at the same school a few years before. Ouch. And if that wasn't bad enough, my brother's coach at the high school called the junior high coach and begged him to let me just practice with the team to prepare for cross country the next fall. So yes, even though I didn't make the team and didn't compete or even have a uniform, I still went to practice every day and watched people lap me. And if you don't think that was humiliating for a junior high girl then you have clearly never been a junior high girl or known a junior high girl. Let's just say that I'm sure I learned a valuable life lesson in that season but I don't remember what it was, because looking back, all I remember is sheer humiliation. Of course at the end of the season, the coach realized that he had made a huge mistake and put me in the final race and I led my team to victory after going toe to toe in the final lap of the mile with the top runner in the state......Ha ha I wish. But this isn't Hollywood. Although if that had happened, I would definitely want either Reese Witherspoon or Claire Danes to play me in the movie.

Anyway - suffice to say, that definitely did not happen.

"The greatest pleasure in life, is doing the things people say we cannot do."
-- Walter Bagehot

But something major did happen.

I started a lifelong love that most people don't understand for putting one foot in front of the other and pushing myself to do the best I can do. Did I improve after that initial humiliating season? Of course. Was I the best in the State? Nope. Not even close. Do I still push myself despite the fact that I could once run a sub 6:00 mile and now.........well, let's just say I haven't been close to a 6:00 mile in a lllooooonnnnnnggggggg time.  Yup. As long as these legs are still able, I'm going to keep right on abusing them and praying that insurance will cover the knee and hip replacement surgeries one day.

After high school, I continued to run with a friend in college. After college, I got a job teaching and became a cross country, indoor, and outdoor track coach. After staying home to have babies, I just kept running.

"My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy."
--John Bryant

 Running is so many things to me.

I run to eat.
I run to be with God.
I run to have free therapy sessions with friends.
I run to listen to music.
I run to listen to nature.
I run to get out of the house.
I run pushing strollers.
I run by myself.
I run to think.
I run to daydream.
I run to pray.
I run for causes.
I run for no reason at all.
I run short distances.
I run long distances.
I run anywhere.
I run whenever I have the time to tie my shoes and squeeze one in.
I run because it feels good.
I run even when it doesn't feel good.
I run to run.
I run to feel capable.
I run to stretch my legs.
I run through injury.
I run in spite of weather.
I run to sweat.
I run because I like to run.
I run because I love the way I feel after a run.
Dang some days I don't even know why I run, but I do.
(And yes I feel like quoting the Forest Gump movie right now.....but I'll spare you.)

I run because it literally changes my perspective on life.

I run because when I run it's just me and the pavement and nobody expects anything from me. There is nobody on the sidelines cheering me on or urging me to go faster. There's only the challenge I've put before myself to get out there, to put one foot in front of the other, to push through the hill so I can coast on the other side, to tack on one more mile, to surge for thirty seconds, to do a negative split, to do whatever it is I push myself to do. And sometimes I push myself to do nothing except survive the run. And there is something so freeing in that.  I know when I get home there will be expectations for me. There will be dishes to be washed and clothes to be folded and kids to be loved and a husband to support, and those are all great things, but for those few miles, it is just me and God. And that pavement? It just twists and turns and leads me in a certain direction without expecting anything back. And there is beauty in that.

"For me, like so many others, running is the answer. Out on the road it is just you, the pavement, and your will."


  1. So deep. Glad you have this thing that is all yours - your moment away from everything else.

    (I see baby Isabelle - so cute!)

  2. Great post- as usual. What a blast from the past!! I love that picture of their stroller date. Life is immensely better when I good run is in the mix. It is even better with a good run with you. I know I say this ALL the time, but I miss therapy so much.

  3. Whoa Nellie that was deep. But good. And I would def go with Reese for you. Not so much on Claire.

  4. I too vote Reese for your role. Do I get to pick one for Grandma Fish because I think I've eagerly volunteered to watch babies (toddlers, school-age....) while you run? I must say it will be a movie to motivate/inspire, one of courage we can see and inner courage reflected in Reese's life as it unfolds in this epic movie! It will be a movie that includes laughter and tears, sometimes even at the same time, and one of deep long-lasting friendships, one of a faith that brings hope and love to all. Yep, I can already smell the great movie popcorn I will enjoy!