Running is one of my favorite things. And then again, sometimes it’s awful. Sometimes it’s a chance to explore on a gorgeous day. Sometimes it’s a freezing push through a polar vortex.
At some point on nearly every run, my body says, “Are you sure about this? Wouldn’t it be better to stop? To sit on that bench? To rest?”
And then I don’t stop, not just then anyway. I go just a bit more. And THAT. That makes me feel alive.
I believe my friend Julie feels that way sometimes too. A few months ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began chemo this month – and get this – RAN to and from her chemo treatment. She’s committed to running throughout her chemo and even put up a Facebook page to document her journey.
I’m sure some people think it’s crazy, but I think it’s brave and courageous and simply brilliant. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” she’s showing that she can. There is so much she cannot control, but she can still put one foot in front of the other and RUN.
I thought about her, and about running, when I was reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” this weekend. It’s not a book about running, but the main character is a runner.
He says, “Running is many things to me: survival, calmness, euphoria, solitude. It is proof of my corporeal existence, my ability to control my movement through space if not time, and the obedience, however temporary, of my body to my will.”
Survival. Control. Proof that we are alive and moving forward. Sometimes running is hard and sometimes I’d rather stay in bed. But when I lace up anyway, running can give so many gifts.