C & S Mommy

Monday, July 03, 2006

Running: A State of Mind?

So I read this article from a guy who started running late in his life (kind of like me). The basis of the article was why people run and it really got me thinking. I started running because finally I could. I pretty much had something to prove to myself. Mainly, I wanted to prove that the true reason I didn’t run before was physical and once the physical aspect holding me back was rectified I could do it. It seems so simple – running. How hard could it be? Well… Hard? Not necessarily. Humbling? Uh, yeah. I started last summer sort of but have been doing it regularly since January and I LOVE it. I didn’t at first and felt so many times that it was time for me to throw in my proverbial towel and just resign myself to the fact that running isn’t for everyone. But I persevered and here I am running a total of 3 miles (one mile at a time with two laps of walking in between) and walking one mile in between. I am so proud of myself and feel a true sense of accomplishment I have not felt since I danced regularly in high school. “…the miracle is that we had the courage to start…” I love this quote from the article because that is exactly how I feel. I made it so public that I was going to start running that I felt for a while that I had set myself up to fail. Every day that I went running and couldn’t get over the 4-minute run/2-minute walk mark I felt like such an ass for sharing with sooo many people that I was going to run. I probably could have stopped at that point. Technically I had proved that I could run – I mean 4 minutes of running is nothing to dismiss when you never ran a day in your life. But I kept going and that article has got me wondering why. The reason of because I could had long since ended and had been replaced with something else I just didn’t realize it until now. The article suggests that maybe we are running toward something or away from something. For a while I joked that I was running toward a skinnier me (not really joked because it was true). Now, though, there is something so much more to it. Yes, it is the sense of accomplishment and the competition I have going against myself (complete with trash-talking), but it is so much more.

I have re-read the article a bunch of times trying to figure it out. Nothing was coming to me and I was getting quite frustrated. I sat here staring at the article when this jumped out at me:
“Our running shoes are really erasers. Every step erases some memory of a past failure. Every mile brings us closer to a clean slate. Each foot strike rubs away a word, a look, or an event which led us to believe that success was beyond our grasp.”
And I thought YES! That is it. I am running away from the ugly things in my past. The things that have shaped the more negative aspects of my personality. The times that I had been underestimated and gave up. The times I was told that I wasn't enough or even worse that I was too much. I love the thought of that – the idea, the symbolism – it gives me chills. It makes me feel I can accomplish things. Maybe a healthier self-image? A better career direction? Mental health? I haven’t figured it out yet but I think the more I run the closer I will get to it.


  • That's awesome, Deborah. Running is such a personal experience for everyone who does it. I'm glad you are loving it.

    By Blogger Angelique, At 5:37 PM  

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