What It’s About

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. 

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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.

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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.

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It’s about the camaraderie and the friends.  The conversations, the laughter, the tears and the memories.   

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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.

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22 Responses to What It’s About

  1. Marlene June 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Well said! I really can’t imagine life without running. It actually scares me sometimes… like, what if something really bad happened? Anyway, let’s not go there! Happy National Running Day to you!

  2. Alyssa June 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    I love this. <3

  3. Kristen June 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    So glad you’re back and running.

    When I read your “changing seasons” all I could think about was how much I love the early morning autumn runs – the smell of the leaves, the warmth of the sun…the best feeling in the world.

  4. Kayla Moothart June 6, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    PERFECTLY written!

  5. Alison @ racingtales June 6, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    How true that we only appreciate something when it’s gone! I’m glad you’re back running and weren’t out for too long. I’m on a forced 2 week hiatus to allow my TFL to heal, after I stubbornly ran a 50K when injured! I’m enjoying the focus on swimming and biking right now, but I think after a couple of weeks I’ll get that hankering again! Gorgeous pics, by the way!

  6. Abby @ Change of Pace June 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    You said it perfectly! That’s why it’s so hard when you get injured. Most people just don’t understand!
    I’m glad you’re back running!

  7. Bonnie June 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    Well said! Thanks for sharing your thoughts – and I’m so glad you’re back! :D I love seeing those pics around the Bay Area – definitely recognize the end of the trail at the Lafayette Reservoir! :)

  8. mamabird@60secondsofdistancerun June 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Very eloquent….what it’s all about, indeed. :)

  9. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy June 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Awesome.

  10. Paulette @paulettezf June 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    I love this post! It’s so true, running is about so much more than exercise. It’s just fabulous to be outside, enjoying it, alone or with others.

  11. Kelley June 7, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    I could not have said it better! Loved this post. I am so happy that you are healing and back to running again!

  12. The Runners Bug June 7, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Great post. I wish more people could learn to appreciate running for the very reasons you posted. To me, this is what National Running Day is all about. Getting back to the pleasure of it all.

  13. Shut Up and Run June 7, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    I think being able (or forced) to step away from running really makes us “get” why it means so much to us beyond the paces, the races and the all the “stuff” (gear). You hit the nail on the head!

  14. Nelly June 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Awesome post, you should be a poet!

  15. RoadBunner June 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    I am so glad you are back at it!! I feel the exact same way. When I couldn’t run for three weeks I didn’t do anything. It wasn’t about the exercise at all. It is a nice bonus, yes, but it pretty low on the motivating factor tree for me when it comes to lacing up my shoes. Happy National Running Day!

  16. Holly June 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    LOVE this! So glad you’re back and running healthy again!

    Cheers!

  17. Corey June 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Aron, this is a really great post. I love how your love for running just oozes through your words…it is so obvious that you genuinely love it!

    • Corey June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      P.S. I don’t think I have ever said love 3 times in one sentence before :)

  18. Rabbits' Guy June 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Great post! Stay healthy.

  19. katie June 8, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    LOVE this.

  20. Lisa June 9, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Nicely said. I’ve always been active, but only started my new lifestyle of running at ~34 (I’m about to turn 46). I love that I have something to look forward to, to test me, to make me want to be better each time I do it.

  21. Debbie White June 17, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Love this post!!!

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