Recently when running with a good friend of mine, we got to discussing the reasons of why we run. I also have to say that this is a person who makes me think beyond my day to day. When I am with them, I formulate questions and answers with a deliberate, careful thought. The question of, “Why do I run?”, actually brought tears to my eyes, tears I quickly brushed away. As I thought about it, my 43 year self-melted to the floor, and my 10-year-old self stood there in its place, wide eyed, expectant, and open. Open to the core feeling of why I ran then, and accepting it is the same reason to why I run now.
I distinctly remember the feeling of running as child. I ran to feel reckless, out of control and wild, there was no agenda. The main goal unbeknownst to me was to express my uninhibited adulation for nature and being alive, no constraints, no rules needed. As a 43 year old I still do the same, I’ll run down a trail with my arms stretched wide, chest open and head thrown back hollering with delight (you may be pleased to know this only occurs in my solitary moments), just me, the earth, the sky and whatever creature that peeps its head up to watch a wildling tumble by.
If you look around, there are many people who train to be competitive and that is their number one goal. Do not get me wrong I am as competitive as the next person, I am an Aries after all, not that that is an excuse for my unashamed competitiveness. But really, why do I run?
I gave it some careful consideration. I run to be open, in general I am a very honest and raw person. I mean I have had to be, otherwise the darkness of a time gone past would have crushed me. I run to be excited. I run to feel the adrenaline high. I run with my inside on the outside. I run for the caress of the wind on my face, the coolness of sweat on my skin, the elongation of my limbs, the expansion of every tangible part of my body. I am free yet grounded. I am like a bird, but a rooted tree, all at the same time. The energy feels all-consuming and warm in my chest, it fills me up and explodes. My deepest feelings can rise upwards to the sun and pour forth, spilling out as I pound past. I cannot count the times a feeling I had thought was so hidden away from years past bubble up and caused me to cry out. To openly sob as I move with abandonment, running to nowhere, but running to everywhere. The release is cathartic, welcome, and needed.
Yes, I train to be competitive, but I run to be unfettered, rough around the edges, reflective, and honest. To be unshackled from the constraints of my life, uninhibited for a fleeting moment. I run to feel my life, feel nature, accept my life, to understand and learn to love who I am. To give my true self to others. To run is to allow myself the moment to feel my emotions, to hurt and not be ashamed of them or myself.
I run because I love to run.