Runners often ponder deep thoughts as we pound along, and, I guess, I’m no exception, although some thoughts are deeper than others. Some days my mind simply chases its tail as I plunk along, others it busily solves the world’s problems. Mostly, though, it just sits there in a receptive state, eager to grasp whatever little bit God may offer me, and chew on it thoughtfully.
Today’s run was one of those that I did only because I knew what it would do for me, not out of any innate desire to jump out of bed and meet the cold world head on.
So, I got to thinking about the reasons that I run, and I kept circling back to the realization that I run because I know. I guess having been a runner for several years, I have internalized some truths that keep me lacing up and heading out, even when I’m not particularly in the mood to do so.
* that on a quiet, cool morning, when the only sounds I hear are the animals rustling the dry leaves around me and my feet pounding along, is when God’s whisper in my ear becomes audible. God speaks to me often, but I hear Him most clearly when I run.
* that running detaches that little black cloud that hitches itself to my posterior all too often, and dispels the gloom it often leaves behind.
* that, even though my running won’t detach anyone else’s black cloud, it may make me a little more capable of dealing with them, give me some insight into their clouds, and help me to know what to say (or not say) that will perhaps shine a little light into their darkness.
* that perseverance trumps talent, discipline trumps genetics. I’ll never be that speedy old broad who sets world age group records, but I’ll be dogging her heels until they put me in the ground. Then, I’ll dog her heels on streets lined with gold. Maybe I’ll catch her then. An Old Broad can dream, can’t she?
* that the only way to combat the deterioration that age inevitably brings is to meet it head on, chase it down, and wrestle it to the ground.
* that my day will go better, my relationships/work/life will flow more easily on days that begin with the quiet contemplation of a run.
* that my interactions with strangers and the world at large, the one that is filled with evil and selfishness; will be kinder and gentler if I start my day off at a trot. Somehow, I like people more after I’ve sweated and gasped for air a while. Strange how that works out.
* that in the long term, my health (mental and physical) will be improved by incorporating movement into my days.
* that in the short term, I just plain feel better when I run consistently.
* that running keeps me moving forward, on the trail and in life.