One day I started running, and I never stopped. I shared on IG the other day about where I fell in love with running. I got thinking about everything, and how much I truly changed the day I decided to run away from my life.
It’s not easy for me. Running hurts me. More often than not I’m running on empty. My body gets pushed too hard and sometimes I collapse. Sometimes I physically can’t put one foot in front of the other. The days I can though, man my legs feel like they can fly.
I remember how I felt. It’s been five years, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was so broken, and was so severely anxious I couldn’t function. I hated everything about my life I wanted to run away from it. The urge to run was so strong that this once inactive human who hated running decided to go for it.
It changes me every time. It’s never been just a sport to me. Sure it’s gotten me in better shape and helped me physcially, but the emotional changes are where the biggest difference is. As I started to run away from everything, I realized what I was running toward; myself.
Even now, the last few weeks I’ve been a bit of a mess. (Big thank you to those of you who’ve stuck with me-I love you all more than you know) I was seriously running on empty. While my hip is doing well, it’s still relatively fragile. I pushed my mileage and speed more than I should have. Whenever my heart hurts, my legs seem to do the impossible. I’ve been running on very little nutrition, even less sleep, but a whole lot of heart. Smartest idea? Hell no. I could see the concern in my moms eyes, and I did it anyway.
Something just clicks. Something primal kicks in, and somehow I find a power I forget I have. When it gets dark around me, and I feel like I can’t handle anything, running reminds me I can. I found something that’s JUST for me. It’s not for the PRs (though they’re great!). It’s not for the races. It’s not for the time. It’s for me. It’s for my sanity. It’s just me and my sneakers. It reminds me to keep showing up. It proves that I can do hard things. It healed me from the inside out, and continues to with every step.
It never comes easy. I have to work hard. Some days my legs and feet go numb as I’m running. I wonder if I’ll fall when I lose all feeling in my foot. (Wouldn’t be the first time.) I wonder if my other hip will go. I feel the dizziness set in because I’m running on less nutrition than most, and burn it off too quickly. My recovery is long, but it’s worth it.
Today I sobbed as I ran. I’m talking those really ugly tears. As I cried I ran faster. It was like everything melted away; the weight I’d been carrying on my shoulders fell off behind me. My legs were tired, but my heart ran faster.
I don’t like feeling weak. I don’t like being vulnerable. I don’t like being told I can’t do something. I don’t like losing. I don’t give up.
So I found the things that make me strong. Oddly enough, the thing that’s the hardest, the thing that makes me tired, the thing that can humble me quick, is also the one thing that brings me back to life; the thing that makes my life worth living.
Five years ago a broken heart led me to a trail for a run. Today, that same heart has kept pumping, pushed every boundary, and defied the odds; with no plans on stopping anytime soon.
“Through the ups and downs of running, I found a new perspective in life. The suffering and success has made me a stronger, happier person.” -Christine Casady