i USED to be a RUNNER...
it's in my blood.
my dad is a marathoner, and my sister has followed in his footsteps with two under her belt and a third not too far away.
i've always dreamed of running those 26.2 miles too. someday.
as a kid, i used to get up at 5 am and go to the BYU indoor track with my dad and brothers. we'd pump out a few miles, run some stairs, and make it back before the sun rose to get ready for school. i loved it.
the other day i found my third grade journal. in nearly every entry i wrote what my mile time was in PE that day. i wrote about what place i took, what boys i was running with. there was a whole page devoted to the day i beat the fastest boy in the grade in sprints. i can still see that moment clear as day in my memory. it was pure victory. and i thrived on it.
i used to spend my springs and summers at the track. either practicing or racing in meets. i used to get butterflies in my stomach anytime i even came near the starting line... whether it was just myself practicing, or being timed in PE, or positioning to hear the gun before an actual race. that line represented a pure adrenaline rush to me.
i lived for it.
but i've lost it.
i've lost my love for running.
and it KILLS me.
because i hate that i don't feel worthy of that title anymore. i hate that my body doesn't show that title anymore. i hate that a worn pair of shoes by the back door doesn't represent that title anymore.
SO.. i have faced this new year DETERMINED to get that love back. and how am i going to do it?
i'm going to hit the pavement and run my guts out until i love it again.
so i've been on a few runs lately. and i hate it.
i hate that i don't recognize the size and mushiness of my body. i hate that i start breathing way too heavy way too soon. i hate that when i go uphill my legs feel more and more like bricks with each step. i hate that it's hard.. i hate that i'm slow.i hate that i can't go very far. yet. i hate that i have to start at such a low point, a place i've never been before. i hate that i hate running now.
but i also love the feeling of my feet hitting the pavement. i love the way my mind closes out everything except the beat of the music. i love how my stride follows that beat. i love how my legs go numb but they somehow keep moving. i love when i go downhill and it feels like flying. i love the control it takes to not go rolling headfirst down the hill, containing your stride slower than your body wants to go. i love the coaches i can still hear in my head saying "push it, push it, push it." i love the mental battle raging between my body and mind. i love that my body is always stronger than my mind thinks it is. i love how my body is stronger than the pain it feels. i love the soreness and jello legs after a run. i love that at the end of every run, there is always something in me that has to push to the end...go faster, stride bigger, run harder. i love how it comes out of nowhere but is always there despite my body protesting. i love how everything is better after a run. i love how when other parts of my life seem to be out of control, i can always control my run. i love how it is therapeutic. i love that you can always get better. i love how my run is mine, just mine.
i love running.
i WILL be a runner again.
i AM a runner.