So as many of you know, I have not been able to run lately. The weather has been awful and we do not have a treadmill so it has been very difficult to get some miles in. This affects me on many levels. I am grumpy, tired, negative and basically feel blah. When I am in a good running routine, I feel happy, energized, have much better self-esteem and feel better about just about everything. Running helps me relieve stress but I also use that time to do a lot of thinking. I like to say I get my best thinking done when I run :) On the weekends I use the miles to plan my meals and grocery store list, figure out what I am going to try to get accomplished with organizing/cleaning my house, and I think about life. During the week, since I run early in the morning it usually takes me a couple miles to wake up, then I usually plan out my day for teaching, think about different ways to handle situations at school, and think about what I am going to make for dinner that night. I also like to think that I am creating a an imaginary bubble around me so that any stressful things I may encounter throughout my day will just bounce off of me. My mantra becomes: It’s okay, I ran today. There is nothing like a good long run to shut out the worry and focus on the positive. It is such a good feeling for me. So you can see why this recent non-running stretch has me twisted. As I type this post it is snowing out, again. I was able to squeeze in a 10 mile run yesterday and it felt glorious! I was so excited to be outside in the fresh air and moving. I tried to savor every minute of every mile because I now realize that with our crazy weather I might not be able to get out there for another few days. As I was running I thought of a post I had read on another blog I follow by Kristin Armstrong. Kristin is a writer and puts out a weekly post for Runners World Magazine called “Mile Markers”. I love her posts, each week as I read what she has written, I find myself nodding in agreement, laughing out loud, or crying at something she chose to share. I am going to share a part of one of my favorite posts of hers, it is called “Because I Can”, and it is the post that I thought of yesterday as I was running:
“Our human tendency is to notice and appreciate things only when we are at risk of losing them, or have already lost them. Think about it: Love. Health. Strength. Freedom of movement. Relationships. Job. Peace.
Why do we do this?
I tried to notice the trees throughout my yoga practice. And again on my jog this morning. The cool air felt fresh in my lungs. My legs felt heavy but happy to move after a period of rest. The morning sun made me squint under the visor of my cap. My feet made the familiar slap slap slap beneath me. I wasn’t running to clear my head (it was already clear). I wasn’t running as part of a to-do on my training program. I wasn’t running to shed any pounds. I wasn’t running with a Garmin to keep any pace. I wasn’t running with any agenda, direction, or distance in mind. I wasn’t running as a have-to, to check it off my list. I wasn’t running to spend time with a friend. I wasn’t running to alleviate heaviness of heart. I wasn’t running to mull over a problem. I wasn’t running to burn off a bad mood. I wasn’t running to purge any toxins. I wasn’t running because I was in a hurry.
Today was one of those times where the sweetness of this statement overrides all else:
I run because I can.”
I hope you all enjoy this excerpt as much as I do. It is great reminder to me that running is a gift. I am not sure how long I will have this gift for, I could be able to run another 30 years, or something could happen to take running away from me. I have no way of knowing so I plan on appreciating it for all it is worth each time I am able to lace up my sneakers and get out the door.
So on your next run, think about “Because I can” and be thankful that you are out there… moving, breathing in the fresh air, and doing something that is good for your mind, body and soul.