Happy National Running Day!
This morning I headed out into the cool morning air to meet up with my friends for a short run on one of our favorite trails. We have done this routine so many times over the last couple years and I still look forward to every single time we meet. This week I was even more excited since I finally wasn’t having to be the one turning around early or keep everyone at a much slower pace. I was back.
If there is one thing I have learned from this injury, it is that running isn’t about the exercise for me. Sure, that is a greatly appreciated added bonus, but it’s about so much more than that. When I couldn’t run, I didn’t want to do anything. That probably would have faded if I was forced to take a longer break from running, but it really made me realize that running is not an easy thing to replace in my world.
Running to me is about being outside. It’s about the fresh air, the changing seasons, the smells and the sounds. It’s about feeling the ground underneath your feet. It’s about appreciating the soft dirt on a long trail run or the rubbery track when you want to run fast.
It’s about observing the grass, the flowers and the leaves changing colors slightly each day. It’s about seeing baby deer with their mom, the wild turkeys, and yes even the skunks and the snakes (!!). It’s about those little moments that you would never experience otherwise.
It’s about the camaraderie and the friends. The conversations, the laughter, the tears and the memories.
It’s about the challenges, the structure, and the goal setting. It’s about those moments where you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to.
During my time off I was thinking about how lucky I am to have found something that I truly love that has an added bonus of creating a healthy lifestyle. It’s hard to be healthy and exercise when you don’t really love what you are doing and it’s a problem I am sure so many people face when trying to get healthy or in shape. I am truly grateful for that.
Thank you running for being my thing and for being more than just a form of exercise. I never would have guessed we would have this relationship, and this day, more than any other National Running Day, I appreciate it even more.