Friday, February 18, 2011

WHY I RUN

I was recently asked by my company's fitness trainer to write a paragraph on what motivates me to run. This paragraph was to be published in the company fitness newsletter. This was supposed to be a simple task, but alas, it is not that simple. When people used to ask me why I run, my usual response was, 'If I have to explain it to you, then you wouldn't understand it anyway.'  But it is now a new year. Time to re-think and evaluate life and why I do the things I do. Time to face my doubts of 'am I really a runner?' 
This year marks my fith year as a 'runner'. I can't believe that I have been running for five years. I realized that now, I truly feel like a runner. It is in my blood. It is what I have to do. When I first started running five years ago and I told people that I was a 'runner', I felt like a fraud. A 'runner' was tall, lean and most importantly, fast. They ran effortlesslly with the wind in their hair and a smile on their face. Their sweat glistening in the sun off their tanned, sinewy muscles. I could not possibly be a 'runner'. A runner did not struggle at a turtle's pace gasping for air like a guppy out of water. Runner's did not have short legs and cellulite and an extra 10 pounds that refuses to come off. Runner's did not lose all their toenails and have mother nature visit with a monthly gift that depleted them to nothing.  With all these issues, how could I possibly be a runner? Then, I showed up at my first 5K. I looked around me as  people of all shapes and sizes, and as young as 9 to as old as Methuselah, toed the start line with me. Everyone of them ran in their own style and pace. I experienced the same startling revelation at my first marathon. It  amazes and most importantly inspires me, when someone flys past me carrying an extra 100 pounds or hunched over from kyphosis and old enough to be my grandma or great grandpa! These people are awesome! They do not let these thoughts or physical limitations slow them down or hold them back from doing the things that they love. So I have come to realize these past five years that a runner is a runner. It does not matter how fast they run, what they look like or how old they are. It is as simple as that.
Now, back to my project of writting a paragraph on what motivates me to run. I had to think hard on this because running to me is a much deeper experience than just running. There are so many reasons why I run that to narrow this down to a paragraph was very difficult. So I decided upon three reasons; here they are :
1. I am not a good runner. But because I run, I am a better person. Starting my day with a morning run clears my head, makes me feel that I have already accomplished something, and because of the endorphins, I feel good and I am happier. This has a two fold effect as this makes the people who have to work with me and live with me, happier.
2. When I run, it gives me a chance to problem solve. I’ve had some of my best idea’s and solutions occur when I run.
3. But the main reason I run is this : sometimes, when I run by myself, I have one of these amazing moments when I focus only on my breathe and the rhythmic beat of my footsteps. It takes me to that still quiet place – it is there, that I can truly feel God’s presence. It is pure bliss.

Namaste'