In honor of National Running Day I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on my love of running. First off, don’t confuse my love of running with being able to run fast. Being faster than a turtle has never been a goal.
My love of running began just after I graduated high school and happened as a result of snowboarding. After graduation, I moved to a mountain resort to work, play, and be a sponsored snowboarder. During a backcountry hike one day I realized that I did not have the stamina nor the endurance to keep up with the rest of my team. I realized I needed to pick it up a notch and decided on a whim to go for a run with my partner in crime, aka “Gizmo,” the best Siberian Husky that ever lived (so I might be a little biased). That first torturous mile felt good for about 20 steps and the rest of the time I was miserable. The joyful 20 steps kept me coming back for more.
Those 20 joyful steps turned into a regular ritual 3-5 times a week, running for 30 -45 minutes. When I joined the Army, it was during the runs that I found peace, my mind grew quiet, and I would take in the early morning smells, and the sunrises through the trees.
After serving my country I continued to run, but much less often due to school, work demands, and pregnancy. In 2011, I rediscovered my love of running and did my first 5k. Since then, I have run in several 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, one full marathon and discovered triathlon and mud runs.
I have run along the beaches on the Pacific Coast, through the snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, in deserts of Southern California, along the Atlantic Coast in Florida. My running journey has taken me through adventures in Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and Hawaii. During my runs I have seen sunrises, sunsets, bears, deer, elk, rabbits, snakes, dolphins, jellyfish, other runners, famous people, dogs, things that have made me smile and things that have made me cry.
Today, I run to beat the odds that are stacked against me: sickness, failure, and those that expect me to quit. I run to be a role model for my two little girls. I run to find my quiet place. I run to keep my sanity. I run because it is a gift to be able to run. I run because I can.
Why do you run?