Why do we run?

I wrote this in my personal journal about a year ago when I was working to recover from plantar fasciitis. It was the end of a frustrating cross country season. Going back and reading it today surprised me – it was like a time capsule message I’d written to remind myself later …

 

11:50 p.m. Thurs. Nov. 17

Got my first deep tissue massage today, for my plantar fascia. Let’s just say crying from a massage made me feel like a pro athlete. It was even sore to walk on after. The masseuse was really cool, asking me questions about school and running to keep me focused off the pain, but oh my GOSH the moves ranged from uncomfortable to painful to fight-or-flight response.

Hope it works though! Lacking a silver bullet, I will just shoot this injury, riddling it with all sorts of bullets, until it’s defeated.

Even though it was hot and humid and miserable and I was always tired this summer, at least running still felt like running. This season was just survival. You know what’s sad too? I’ve thought about quitting. Not to really do it, but more of a realization of why people do it.

Why do we pursue running, God? Why do we strive for more? Why do we sacrifice our bodies, our “typical” youth experiences, our chances to study abroad, our high-heeled shoes, our comfort, our time, our resources, our college dreams?

But nothing I’ve given up hasn’t payed me back…

Instead of social life I have a team, a built-in family. Instead of a soft, rested body, I have the tight, hard (and sometimes achy) body of an athlete. Instead of a typical youth I have lessons about priorities, work, being a team player and faith. Instead of a chance to study abroad, I get to criss cross the US for free with the track team, and maybe one day I’ll run abroad. Instead of high-heeled shoes I have classy flats that say, “I am a strong woman. I don’t need heels to impress in the business world.” Plus my calves look good anyway. Instead of creature comforts, I have the ultimate  comfort of relaxing after a hard effort. Instead of hours of free time whiled away in leisure I have lots of productive ones (school and running). Instead of the $200-300 I spend on running shoes every year, I have $500 or $600 worth of gear and shoes for free from Baylor. Instead of my first choice college, I got to be a Baylor Bear. Which one did I end up liking better?

And there’s more – the days when you put it all together and run like you were meant to. You cross the line and you’re glowing. You’re powerful. God’s rewarded your hard work in a really tangible way. You can’t wait to do it again. You celebrate. You stay up late, but the next day you get up like you did every other day before. You lace up your trainers, worry about breakfast, peeing, your calves or shins or feet or IT bands or healing fractures or pulled muscles, and you go out the door and you do that whole shindig all over again.

It is a nice metaphor for life. Maybe it really is the journey.

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One thought on “Why do we run?

  1. William Collins

    As the father of a college track daughter that has dealt and addressed similar challenges, this enrty is spot on. Well done.

    Reply

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