Running is my first love, pure and unadulterated. It gets me up in the morning, fuels me through my days, and promises survival through even the roughest patches of life. It has brought me some of my greatest joys and has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. It reminds me that I am alive, that life is grand, and that finding inner peace is indeed possible.
I emerged from adolescence, college, the Peace Corps, the ups and downs of young adulthood, graduate school, marriage, and even the pain of divorce, all relatively unscathed, all with my running shoes on. When two knee surgeries threatened my future as a runner, thoughts of one day running again pulled me through. More than 30,000 miles after running my first, running never gets old.
Most runners might agree that part of the draw to running is the constant search for new challenges. The human body can achieve amazing things as long as the mind and spirit are willing to rise to the occasion. If you are a runner, you know just what I mean. That hunger for the next test of strength and endurance does not dissipate. Once we reach a goal, we set a new one.
The hunger begins modestly – a 5K, maybe a half marathon… but once we think we have satiated our appetite for challenge, we conjure up new goals – to run faster or further. By the time we realize the voracity of our hunger, it is too late: we’ve become addicted to running, and the only option is to continue lacing up our shoes in search of new ways to challenge our bodies and minds. They are, after all, our magic shoes, representative of a truly everlasting love, and my way of life.
Running is my panacea.