There are so many other “vices” I could have chosen. I am so lucky to be a runner!
The theme of Tuesdays on the Run (thank you Patty, Erika, and Marcia) this week was “St. Patrick’s Day.” Well, seeing as the only St. Patrick’s Day associated race or anything of the sort that I’ve ever done was the FREEZING cold Shamrock Shuffle a few years back… I don’t have that much ammunition or more to contribute to the topic.
A topic I can contribute to? Feeling lucky to be a runner.
I am lucky that this sport chose me. For years and years, I rode horses competitively, and it was my everything; passion doesn’t even really begin to describe it. To be honest, I’ve never felt as all-consumingly in love with running as I did with riding. I don’t read running books the way that I tore through riding novels and fact-filled books on horses. I don’t get giddy with excitement when I see my running shoes (well, that may or may not be true). I don’t pour through gear guides or even subscribe to the running magazines.
And yet…. I would say that the relationship that I have with running might be the one that goes the most distance.
In fact, I think that running is kind of like the relationship I have with my husband:
I definitely didn’t choose to become a runner… in fact, I resisted it for many years. (In Alex’s case, it was a few weeks)
But then, we started talking. We went on our first date and never stopped talking after that. We never thought about it as serious until one day we realized that it was. We have had our minor disagreements, we have gotten our feelings hurt, we have even been forced to spend time apart… but we are good enough friends at the base of everything to know that when we see each other again, we will get right back to our speed, even if we both need a little period of adjusting.
When I tell people that I am a marathoner and running coach who is not allowed to run during IVF, their first comment is how hard is must be for me. And is it awesome not to be able to lace up and get my moving meditation on? Of course it is. But I can be calm about our separation because I know that the separation will come to an end, and before long, just like when Alex and I would go a month between visits to NYC or Charlottesville when I was in grad school and he was in med school.
Running will wait for me. The horses, as much as I loved them, and the barn, as much as I loved it… I couldn’t always know that they would wait for me. When I left for grad school, when I couldn’t offer them a certain something, they moved on.
Running will wait for me. Though running sometimes feels like a bad boy, the running I know will respect me for what I can give it. Running knows that I have had to fight for it, that our relationship is built on more than just infatuation but an actual foundation–running is a backbone in my life–and that so much of who I am and what I know about myself comes from running….
I am lucky to be a runner. I am lucky to have a sport, that, no matter where I am in life, will welcome me back. It may make me fight a little, but it only wants me to fight to believe in myself (and also to remind me not to be an idiot). I don’t know if I will ever run sub 3:30 marathons again. I don’t know if I will qualify for Boston, in any age group, again.You don't need the luck of the Irish when you are a runner #running #runchat #TOTR Click To Tweet
And that is ok. Because running is about more than time and paces and medals on a wall. It is about knowing how lucky and privileged we are to be runners.
What is your relationship with running like?