Okay, to be clear, I don't intend to be so bad about neglecting my blog. It just kind of happens. But I have some great article ideas and I'm not sure where to start, so expect like four new articles in the space of four days. Yes, I am crazy. Let it go. We'll all be happier.
Anyway. I am, among many other things, a runner. I started running sporadically at fourteen when I decided that I wanted to run a marathon before turning sixteen. That didn't happen, but I did fall in love.
Nowadays, I run around three days a week, and I've logged miles with dogs, kids, my dad, my boyfriend, my suitemates, friends, and solo. Every mile may not be fast or fun, but the feeling I get from running cannot be matched.
I used to always run with either music or a buddy, and sometimes both, but in the last year or so I've ditched the music for a few reasons. There is, of course, the safety aspect: I often run at night or early in the morning, and as a girl it's safer to be able to hear everything around me. However, there is also an emotional, almost spiritual reason. Running in silence allows me to hear everything from my footfalls, to my breathing, to the world around me, and in many ways it allows me to hear my thoughts with more clarity. Running has become therapeutic for me. I'd expected that running in silence would provide me with more time to dwell on worries, overthinking my life unnecessarily, but instead it calms me like nothing else. My problems melt away, seeming much less important then before. I am able to evaluate them with a renewed strength of mind, and I finish my run feeling refreshed.
On a more abstract note, I used to look at running as if I was fleeing my problems and my life. To me, running felt like flying, and as an overemotional teenager I fell in love with the idea of flying away from everything. As I ran, I told myself that if I put in enough miles at a fast enough pace, my troubles would not be able to catch me. I now have a more positive outlook, viewing my miles as progress towards a goal. Sometimes that goal is simply to be healthier, fitter, and feeling sore the next morning. Other times the goal is a certain number of miles or a certain speed, or a race I'm training for. However, while all of these are excellent goals (I can't even describe how great it is to run farther than ever before), many of my favorite runs have been the days where I have no goal other than to feel better at the end of my run than I did at the start, or to catch up with the friends who have joined me for the day's run.
For me, running is something special. It's mine. I don't do it out of obligation to anyone or anything. I do it for me. And that's the most beautiful reason I can imagine.