We run, we ride, we elliptical and we swim (okay, I don’t swim. But I know some of you do).
For our own personal reasons.
For our stress.
For health … which sounds so trite but really, health is a HUGE word. It’s a save your life word.
Instead of therapy, because therapy costs too much. Or because we don’t feel like bearing our souls to strangers.
To lose weight.
To find ourselves.
To meet friends.
Let’s be frank. Sometimes running goes deeper than that and we use it to deal with the nitty gritty of life. Like a loss of a loved one, a divorce, a break up or even a mid life crisis.
There’s really a million and one reasons and they’re all personal.
When I head out the door and I put my headphones in and start a book with a quiet voice reading to me on the silent streets and I feel my feet hit the pavement…in the one two rhythm that feels so very familiar to me~ it’s like breathing. Like blinking. Like living inside my heart. The beat of my feet really all the music I need and the book feeds my mind, the combination works to fill my soul.
When I get home I’ll run in the door hot, always sweaty, full of energy and information. The run was “good”, “hard”, “cold”, ~insert adjective here. I force Sean to listen to all my details as I plug in my Garmin and scope out the recap. On the surface…I ran out the door. I had a great run. I came home and worked it over with my Garmin.
No indication whatsoever what a lovely experience it was and how it changed me. It’s fascinating to me how an everyday run can heal me and prepare me emotionally and spiritually for the next day or so until I can run again but on the surface…I just ran. I thank God every day for this and every run.
I went to church today and spoke to a woman I haven’t seen in years. She has several grown girls and grandkids, too. I asked how one of her daughters is. I remember when she taught my kids youth group and her daughter was newly diagnosed with MS. She said this particular daughter is doing well, though she can no longer run.
My heart got so sad.
She went on to tell me how well she’s doing, but my head just heard…she can no longer run.
I listened to her tell me all about her. But really all I heard was:
She can no longer run. Her beautiful active daughter can no longer run.
I know I’ve used this one before, but it speaks to this moment.
And it scared me. And it made me feel so ashamed for the days I say I’m tired. Or my head hurts. Or I’m just not up to it. I should push through and do it. Because some people can’t. And someday…may be my last.
Today is not that day.
It doesn’t matter what it is you love to do.
If it feeds your soul, do it often.
Take care of you.