I saw a woman running the other day outside who looked like she was absoutly dying. She was practically walking and looked like she was in extreme pain. Her face was scrunched up and her arms were frailing at her sides. I was nervous she was going to keel over any moment.
I almost wanted to help her.
As I went home from class that day, I began to think a lot about why people run. Do we run to keep in shape? To clear our heads? Do we run because we love the feeling of almost puking? Or that feeling when your lungs turn to stone as you push yourself past a specific landmark?
Why do we constantly push ourselves to finish that last grueling mile when we are sometimes clearly not enjoying it?
“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
You may not be an Olympic runner, but then again, maybe you are. But Olympian or not, we find ourselves out there pounding the pavement daily. (Or for some of us, every few days, or maybe once a week. Or maybe even once every month.) Regardless, it’s the drive for self-satisfaction and achievement that gets us out there.
For me, I began running the summer after my senior year of high school. I had run my normal route all throughout high school, but in the summer of 2008 something was different. After playing 12 years of volleyball and softball, I was feeling a loss of identity not truly being considered an official athlete anymore.
I began to run to keep in shape and for the soul purpose of it being a sport. But something about running was different than any other team sport I had played before. The sports I had played all my life were so primarily focused on team members, and don’t get me wrong, I loved that, but for once in my life, I was it. I was the team and everything I succeeded in was all due to my efforts.
I’ve gone on runs with plenty of people, friends, family members, team members and roommates. But to me, those runs have never been as fullfilling as when I am out there all alone. Just me and my thoughts. Or just me and my music.
To me, the best runs come from when it’s you VS. you. No matter how fast or slow you are running, no matter how experienced you are, no matter your age, gender or race – if you push yourself, and you get out there to run and give it your all…you are a runner.
That woman I talked about at the beginning of my post, she’s a runner… and a darn good one.