I have decided to take the blog in a different direction and I’m exploring an essay format. This is the first essay I have done for the blog, and I would love everyone’s feedback on it. I have written essays before, but I feel especially passionate about this one.
When I started running, it was just because my brother did it. I’ve always looked up to him, and tried to follow in his footsteps. The first day of practice, all the middle school kids ran around on the grassy field in a circle, each of our tiny little scraggly breaths in sync. I was in the back of the pack that day, clearly new to this whole running thing. The next time we had practice, I drove myself to the front. I pushed forward, persevered and in that moment I actually fell in love with running.
By the time I got to high school I was focusing on how running was important for me. I was trying to find out it’s purpose in my life. I knew I didn’t run to stay in shape, I did dance as well and that was enough to stay fit. But I didn’t dance just to stay fit . Dance was another important part of my life, it has a place in my heart, and it is something I have loved and will always love. I had to find a place for running in my heart, if I wanted to keep doing it. I also knew I didn’t run to lose weight, I was happy with my body. Dancing had given me a connection to my mind and body that I didn’t have before, and running only expanded on that. I could feel myself punching to the limit, testing my strength in new ways, and it gave me a balanced sense of self.
The reason I loved running hit me after practice one day. My mom came to pick me up, and asked me how my day went. I casually said it was a great day, but it hadn’t been. I had a rough day, and for some reason I was still happy when my mom came to pick me up. This truly perplexed me. I was giddy and relaxed, but why? Then it hit me, I was just at cross country practice. I had run off all the bad feelings of the day, and the adrenaline replaced those feelings with joyfulness, behind my back! I had finally found my reason to run, it made me happy. Some people would go crazy if they were told to run a 5k, but I get excited! I welcome the pain and exhaustion, because I enjoy the exhilaration that comes with it. When I go out on the run, there’s this point, where it doesn’t feel like I’m running anymore, it feels more like I’m floating, like my body is practically running without me, and I’m just along for the ride. Everything gets painted in elegance, and the world around me is a literal blur of color and light. But here’s the best part, that feeling doesn’t go away when I’ve finished with the run, it stays there for a while. If I run in the morning, the whole day ahead of me is sweeter and easier, if I run at night, the day behind me is wistful and lighter. Either way, when I run my life is brighter, I feel better even if it was actually a really bad day and I’ll forget it ever was. I hope to find peace in a challenging trail run, or to go out on a long road run angry, and come back calm. I want to keep running in my life now that I have found its purpose and meaning for me, and I don’t ever want to stop.