I am a runner.
I by no means run the fastest or the farthest, but I move.
I do not run everyday, but I make time and go.
Over the years, it has become a part of who I am.
At its core, running is a simple art form. It is your body in motion, moving forward, step by step, lifting your feet off the ground. It does not require any extravagant equipment; a solid pair of runners will do.
The process itself forces one to meditate on their breath, and on their heart and on the actions of their body. Running is fascinating; at moments your body is entirely in sync, working together, connecting and encouraging each forward movement and breath.
Yet, in the next instant, your legs can feel heavy and slow, your mind weak and off. It becomes a mental struggle, a battle to keep going. However, pushing through these moments, is also what makes running so satisfying.
Running is a balance between mental and physical strength and overcoming all obstacles. It embodies outstanding perseverance and endurance.
Running cleanses and strengthens your mind, your body and your soul.
You see, I have started to shift my perspective and attitude on running. It is no longer a workout or a chore, which can lead to making excuses. I now view running in a different manner:
I view running as a method of exploring and travel. I’ve explored forests, trails, and lakes. I’ve explored cities, streets and alleyways. I’ve encountered hidden beaten paths and quiet wildlife in my own small town. I’ve ran through the Tuscan country-side, intimately passing through the back roads and landscapes of Italy. I now feel excitement knowing each run has the potential to fulfill my wanderlust for new or beautifully familiar places.
I view running as a positive action in my daily life and routine. It is an escape; a time of the day to disconnect from the world and its responsibilities, and enjoy the present. It is a time to find and appreciate the small things in each day. It roots me deeper to my environment and climate, increasing my awareness.
I view running as a tool to strengthen my body and mind. It is a device which ultimately helps me love, appreciate and fasten myself to my body. It involves willpower, endurance, determination, love of the sport, regular stretching and occasional cramping.
I view running as a community. A global network of runners who are on separate paths, but all on the same journey. It is a foundation which brings people together, and encourages a proactive, healthy lifestyle. It has brought my family closer together through training and racing. Furthermore, it has allowed me to interact on a national and international scale with other runners, through social media and blogs*.
Running is not for everyone, yet anyone can do it. Going out for a run is just the start, committing to it is the challenging part. It is a tedious journey, needing constant attention and fine tuning, however I can promise you it will satisfy you in ways you never thought possible. When you start to see what your mind and body are capable of you will not want to go back.
So I encourage you to run and thank yourself for it.
*Run like a Girl http://runlikeagirl.ca/ is a great social media platform (based just a province over, BC, Canada) which encourages and motivates runners from all stages in life to live a healthy, active life. Virtual fundraising runs, running gear, daily encouragements, Q and As, and in addition, documenting and sharing their own personal journeys and our own, have attributed to a strong and refreshing running community!