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Why I Run

Tennis ShoesSomething strange happened on a gloriously sunny morning as I was attempting to run 8 miles in our local metro park.  I became a runner.

In the beginning of May I will be participating in my 2nd half-marathon.  You would have thought I’d have figured the runner thing out by now.

You would have thought.

My problem is that I’m just a bit stubborn and don’t give myself enough credit.  When others proclaim how brave I am for training for a 1/2 marathon I’d respond with something like,

“I’m not a runner.  It’s just good exercise.”

or

“I don’t know if the word is training– I’m just trying to work up to being able to run the damn thing!”

or

“My goal is just to finish!”  (which is true!)

But sometime during those 8 miles I realized just how much I enjoyed running and looked forward to it each week.  I realized that I am in training.  Even though I didn’t have a lot of fancy clothes and equipment, don’t subscribe to any runner’s magazines, and

Along The Boardwalk

If you look closely, you can see a large-winged bird swooping in.

certainly don’t have the lean, svelte body that marks one as a runner- I have been training my mind and my body for this race.

It was a Eureka! moment.

Do you want to hear some more of my revelations over the weeks that I have been doing this?  Some of them may seem a tad strange, being left alone with your own thoughts can do that to you!

1. I’ve found that when I’m faced with a problem or challenge, then go for a run, often the answer will come to me somewhere along the way.  The trick is not to look for the answer or expect it.  It’s like a prayer being answered, you never know when it will come and sometimes you even miss when it has.

2.  Often I’ll come across birds or wildlife as I run, especially if I’m in the nearby Metro-Park.  Seeing them always reminds me of my father who passed away almost 4 years ago.  He loved and breathed nature and instilled in us a respect for it.   I never thought running would bring me closer to my dad, but it has!

3.  Running taps into my creative juices.  Ideas float up like bubbles beneath the water, bursting at the surface.  Again, they can’t be hailed or pre-planned, they have to come on their own.  When they arrive they often seem so simple or logical that I wonder if I’ve had visions of them before, or if I’ve known of them all along and just summoned them from my memories.

A Beautiful Day for a Run!4.  Have you ever driven somewhere and can’t recall how you got there?  That happens to me in small doses sometimes when I’ve run for awhile.  I’ll be locked into my own thoughts while my feet go on autopilot.  This usually only happens for a few seconds, but it is jarring when my mind clears and I realize I’m still running!

5.  If you happen to pass me while I’m running and I come out with a little chuckle or mutter a few choice words under my breathe, don’t pay any attention.  It’s just me remembering.  Running seems to open my pandora’s box of memories.  Sometimes the memories are happy and funny, other times they are full of regret for something I once said or did.  Or, it could mean that I forgot to stick the roast in the crockpot before I left!

That’s great, Dawn, but what about the healthy benefits of running?

There’s that, too. But what started out as a goal to get my body in shape has become an exercise of the mind.  I’ve found that as I’ve been training my body to be able to run longer distances, I’ve also been training my brain to be able to endure the 2+ hours that it requires.  (I have to admit, It will be a relief to get some of that time back after this 1/2 marathon is all over!)

The Windy TrailSo that’s why I run and what running has done for me.  I could never have imagined that it would.  But now I get what all the fuss is about.

How about you?  Do you run? (or walk, or perform a certain kind of exercise willingly on a regular basis?)  What have you discovered about yourself through it?

Have an inspired, active Week!

 

 

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