Why Do I Run? Precisely, that is what I asked myself yet again this morning at the sound of my alarm. Couldn’t I just stay in bed this one time, snooze and finish off my dream, even if it was a disturbing one? Without the ending, I could be haunted for hours. Still I agreed for Paul to open the curtains, allowing daylight to pour in. I threw back the covers and pulled myself out of bed.
Instantly my right foot felt heavy and went into a muscle spasm. In the meantime, my mind sent jarring messages to it and to my achy abs and then turned its attention to all the many urgent things we had to do today—try to negotiate a reasonable appointment from a car dealer who puts customer service last, check on Daddy, order groceries (non-perishables; fridge/freezer dead), chase the repairman, write a blog, just to name a few. Why run?
Ignoring the chatter I grabbed the massage roller thing a ma gig. You know the one, its called posture pro and meant to work on anything thoracic. Admittedly, it works on feet, too.
That done, I dressed and stretched, still feeling lifeless and continued to wonder why I was torturing myself. But outside, as I sucked in the fresh river air, basked in the cool of the London morning, it hit me as clear as day that I run for one reason only. All the rest are fringe benefits. My reason: It’s called me time, as simple as that.
To this end, I even ditched music to avoid any distractions. Anyhow, as I got into my stride, the other runners, walkers, folks going to work, the publican rolling beer barrels across the private road, began to fade into the background. In moments I was in my zone, no longer aware of my temperamental foot, fussy abs. etc.
At first my mind continued to search for reasons to feel listless. And then the tears pushed through, hidden behind sunglasses, of course, as I remembered my mother’s recent death. But when a sensational breeze swept over me, it conjured up memories of her life and suddenly, the tears dried up and I felt myself smile.
When she and my aunt, her only sister, were avid walkers, it occurred to me that they might have been getting in their me time together. Otherwise, there was always someone else around.
Before I knew it, I was coming to the close of my three-mile journey. And though I toyed with extending the run, I had slipped out of the zone that quickly.
Now, I felt my racing heart, the energy flowing through me, the urge to get on with my day. Still, cooling down and stretching, I remembered the run fondly and the other two earlier in the week. Then all the stuff on my to do list started pouring in and jockeying for position-me, me, no me, etc. Not to mention that the world was abuzz. A cyclist nearly ran me down without even saying excuse me, and a yappy dog thought he should have exclusive use of the boardwalk.
Putting the thoughts in their place, the dog and the cyclist behind me, I looked ahead to the next opportunity for time for me—just me. That is why I run.