Tuesday, October 25, 2011

i am a runner

I am a runner.  I have not always run but I think of myself as a runner nonetheless.  It all started in my twenties.  Well, my athletic days started in childhood.  I am the 'athlete' of the family.  I am the one who not only participated in sports in High School and College, but excelled in sports.  However, after college I started working and didn't have as many opportunities to be athletic.  Then the stress of trying to prove myself at work and a bad break up with my boyfriend led me to hit the pavement.

What started out as a way to burn off energy quickly became very therapeutic.  I continued to run through out my twenties and early thirties.  I loved it.  I may or may not have become slightly obsessed with running and at one point would run an hour a day.  Every day.  I was also running races most weekends.  I ran 5Ks, 10Ks and the occasional half marathon.  I even competed in triathlons but didn't excel at those because the bike was my weakest leg.

All of the sudden, I stopped.  I got a small injury and I wasn't recovering from it.  I was told to rest it and that's what I did.  I tried picking up running again here and there.  But it was never the same.  I was busy being a newly wed.  Busy trying to start our family.  Then busy raising our growing family.  It was just not something I made a point to fit into my life.  I think secretly, I didn't want to run again because running had become such a demanding mistress to me.  Such an idol.  Such an obsession.  That I was I afraid I didn't have the discipline to put running in the right perspective in my life.

I changed all that this summer.  After years of running a few times a month but never consistently, I made time for running again.  I made time for me again.  Although, I would have answered that I was a runner all along if you asked me, this summer I became a runner again.

I went back to an old love and found a way to make a place in my life for it.  And I didn't realize how much I missed running until I started running again.  I do not run to music.  My friends kid me about this but I just can't do it.  Unless I'm running on a treadmill and then I have to run to music.  I hate running on treadmills.

I forgot how much I needed the time to let my mind wander.  When I run I let my heart have it's way with my thoughts. 

Sometimes I tackle big topics, like are we going to adopt again.  The answer is no we are not.  Well, maybe not right now.  It seems like a crazy idea at my age.  But I can't stop thinking about orphans. 

Sometimes I tackle the mundane, like my daily to do list.  Laundry. Grocery Store.  Library.  Make Dinner.  Call mom.  Write blog post.

Sometimes I pray.  For my family.  For my children.  For people whose houses I am running past.  For myself.  For forgiveness.  For answers to questions about the future that plague me.

Sometimes I try and resolve issues in my life.  What color should I paint the playroom (answer; tan with brown trim).  What can we do about xyz behavior in this child. 

Sometimes I focus on how much it hurts.  Usually this doesn't last long.

Running is so different in this phase of my life.  I am no longer running to be skinny.  I am not running to fit into a dress.  Or to fit into a clothing size.  Now I'm running for me.  I'm running to clear my head.  I'm running to be healthy and if I loose weight or my clothes fit better it is an added bonus.  I'm running to be stronger. 

My goal is to run 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes.  I have never run for distance, I use time as my yardstick.  I don't always hit this goal but at this point in my life I give myself the grace I need and move on.  I notice it when I don't run.  I feel different.  I don't sleep as well.  I feel a little off.  Like something is missing.  Until I lace up my sneaks again and then it all becomes clear. 

I am a runner.


noreen said...

Go Anne!! That's awesome!!

Hannah said...

I always wanted to be a runner. I love getting lost in my thoughts...it's sad but that's why I mow our grass, it's the only place where my mind is free.

I'm with you...hate the treadmill...but sadly that's where you'll find me.

Gardenia said...

this is so wonderful...that you have made time for yourself. And really, it is needed if we moms are to be there for our children 110%. if we are to succeed in all our other duties, we do have to make time for ourself. i think it must be so refreshing that your goal in the running is not to make changes in your figure or lose weight or whatever but that it is to give yourself some mental house cleaning, to clear your mind, or to meditate on your family matters or children, etc. this sounds like such a positive experience for you!

Charissa Steyn said...

This is my heart EXACTLY!! Thanks for sharing this :) I am a runner too....

noreen said...

Ok Anne, after hearing everyone's comments it motivates me to want to go out and run. Or a quick walk with my dog!