Happy National Running Day! What a lovely holiday to celebrate what you (mostly) love about running. Wednesdays I’ve been on a weights and cross training schedule because I teach early in the morning (my favorite run time) but I squeezed in a progressive ten minutes on the treadmill at the end today to celebrate!
I’ve been running as my main course (as opposed to the side dish variety found in sports) for six to eight years now. I know that’s a large gap, I regularly debate with myself when my actual start was….before or after I stopped playing college basketball. I never dreamed this Sunday activity with my dad would give me so much (aside from blisters and chafe scars….):
This is the best gift I’ve received. Running, either through actively participating myself or coaching others, has enriched some of my already existing relationships and formed new ones. When I go back to visit any of my hometowns, I often meet up for runs with my friends instead of drinks. I keep track of clients who are still running, watching them progress and cheering them on at races when I can.
Even more than I love running for myself, I really get fired up about showing other people they can do it too. So much so that I’m making a career out of doing just that! It’s one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life but I’m also the most sure I’ve ever been about a decision.
There’s nothing quite like the look on people’s faces when you tell them you’ve done a marathon. Or a half. Or dozens. Hell, I don’t care what the distance is. You WILL be a more confident person if you set a goal distance, train towards it and hit the miles that were once impossible. You WILL be a more confident person as 5 miles starts to get faster and faster. And you may surprise yourself with an age group placement someday.
I’m still slowly working my way through my goal to run a half in every state (twelve down…). I’ve had the joy of running everywhere that I travel: on the cliffs of Ireland, through the streets of Paris, around the deck of a cruise ship, up a tiny stretch of Mt. Hood, and down the peaceful streets of my hometown. It’s the best way to get to know a new city, and to reconnect with the places that feel like home.
I have yet to find something that a hard run cannot fix. A fight with a loved one. A stressful week of school work. Heartache. A hangover. Running has given me an outlet for my soul, and when I’m smart, I remember that it’s there.
Like the Grizzlies kind. Finishing an uphill race that I was late to because I had to bike to the start, in the middle of a downpour. Finishing a race in December in 105% humidity and 80 degree temperatures in the middle of finals chaos in Texas. Daring to hit 8.5 mph on the treadmill because I need to learn that pace to make Boston a reality. All these things give me grit, which I can thank running for.
What has running given to you? Celebrate it today!