Trail & Ultra Running.
My son is currently working on a documentary about mental health and running. Here is a link to the trailer.
Occasionally, the question, "Why do you run?" is put forth. (note: primarily, I am asked this by non-runners) But, it’s not something that can be answered in a simple manner. Since running is such an integral part of my life, I decided that I should provide a bit of thought into my response. Basically, I came up with my reasons in a list format (in no particular order whatsoever):
~It’s when I feel most alive!
~Movement nourishes the mind, body, and soul. It allows my thoughts to freely move within me, provides answers, creative ideas, reflection. My brain just works better after a run! I've never (ok...maybe 1 or 2 times...but RARELY!) finished a run feeling worse than when I started.
~It is a detox that helps fight off personal demons; keeps me feeling “happy” and helps curb depressed thoughts and feelings; allows me to forget about my problems for awhile. It is very therapeutic. Some days, I “NEED” to run just to release the build-up of life stressors.
~Running provides solitude, peace, and serenity when needed; an escape from reality. I can become lost within myself; have alone time. It can be a form of meditation. Sometimes I reach a state of “zen;" an opportunity for personal reflection and reminisce.
~Connection to the earth and learning life lessons through nature; humility, gratitude, problem solving, and appreciation. Exploring places I wouldn’t have known otherwise. (Trails! Mountains! Global destinations!) "Trails"...well, that could be a whole write up in itself...or two...or three...
~My "BFF" Running Friend, Mary. She is the person who has seen me through my most challenging moments, stayed by my side, listened to me repeat my life's crappy stories, loved me through it all...over and over...said "yes" to crazy adventures and ideas, pushed me into finish lines, accepted me as I am again and again. This (SHE!) may actually be my most favorite reason. She is a ROCK!
~Also...strong friendships and comradery in general...you just meet so many interesting people sometimes. It's kind of crazy, but very cool!
~Racing…staying motivated to reach a goal. Every race is a learning opportunity. Every run is a learning opportunity. Sense of personal accomplishment…followed by... “ok, what’s next?” Also...there's nothing quite like a finish line, especially at an ultra marathon...and even more so, if you share that finish line with someone.
~Long distances can push you into the very edge of your capabilities; they test your limits. Striving to go further and achieve more; be the best version of yourself that you can be. After hard efforts, I love the way my body feels. You stay in touch with your whole self. I am amazed at how the body (and soul!) can repair itself and grow stronger after an injury or a hard effort. Humans are quite remarkable!
~An excuse to buy shoes and gear...
~Also. Beer and food (mostly bacon! … oh, and wine too)
a sip of Fireball or two.
~Being present in the moment; not worrying about yesterday or what’s to come; only what is happening right now. "Carpe Diem!"
~Constantly “looking for my missing piece” (referencing Shel Silverstein’s Masterpiece of course!) I’m not always sure what that is or what I’m in search of. I may not find everything I’m seeking. As cliché as it may sound, the journey is the true reward. Always.
...and then there are times when running isn't about ourselves. We run for those who are not able to run or for a cause that is beyond us. This is running in it's most EPIC form!
So...now I guess, it's my turn
to pose the question to you...
Why do YOU run?
Ultra runner in Washington state with dreams of setting a Guiness World Record in 2019.