Friday, October 19, 2007
I am a Runner because...
Running seems to somewho justify who I am and why I feel the way I do about life. I often talk about how I was never an athlete as a child, even though technically, that wasn't true. I played soccer for almost 10 years. Yet, despite really enjoying the sport, I never really felt like I belonged. I enjoyed it, but it never defined who I was. With little regret, I was able to give it up when I started high school, and didn't really look back. When I did play soccer, I chose to be the goalie, which allowed me to be simultaneously part of a team but also alone. That feeling of being loosly connected to a group yet, overall, separate, was one that had always been with me, until I took up running.
Suddenly, even though I wasn't fast, wasn't remarkable in any way, I felt like I was on some common ground with other runners. Our distance, rather than our ability, seemed to define us. Longer distances seemed to provides stronger ties of community. I could be an athlete, just by making a choice to take on that identity. And the more I chose to mold my life around running, the more of a runner I became. It took a long time for that identity to hold. Even after my first marathon, I didn't quite feel comfortable with it. Finally, I stopped trying to be part of those groups where I still felt alone. Running gave me an excuse to turn down parties, clubs, bars, the typical social gatherings of college students, and instead interact and learn from people who inspired me, while experiencing amazing places. I am a runner because I constantly seek out inspiration from people around me to achieve new and exciting things.
So, now having earned and accepted this identity, here's my list of why I am a runner:
I constantly talk about it, to family, friends, acquaintances. I don't know you? I'll probably still talk your ear off about some trail or run I went on. Today one of my first graders saw that I had a water bottle and said, "I know why you have that. You're going for a run!"
It allows me infinite reasons to hold onto my optimistic mentality
Somehow I breathe better when I run. The deep breathes that I just can't seem to take in otherwise are suddenly readily available
it keeps me constant, sane, peaceful, and centered
I feel the most alive after a long trail run
It makes me feel strong [really, it simply makes me strong, which is something I'm not sure I knew I could be before]
I hate, absolutely hate, waking up early, except if it's to go out on a trail. Then, I'm ridiculously happy at 4 in the morning, full of boundless energy
It gives me a confidence I never knew I had
To give it up would mean to give up what I know can make me truly and simply happy
I was tagged by Rick,
and I shall tag....
Jessica, Red, and Twig :)