In my somewhat obsessive and constant reading of Elephant Journal, I came upon Jillian Locke’s blog, Radiant Devotion. I so was pleased to see that she wrote a post on running. Through the messiness I’ve encountered in the past few years, running has become a real friend to me. I don’t always like it, I have to push myself to do it (today ALL I wanted to do was eat bread in bed after work), and I’ve have had to make some necessary adjustments in order to ensure that running was something that benefited me rather than caused me pain.
When I run, I feel boundlessly capable and creative in my thought patterns. I’ve conjured up some of my best ideas while running and have been clobbered by some pretty intense feelings and realizations that may not have surfaced otherwise. Some alternate headspace opens and emerges when I run, and through this I’ve learned a lot about myself.
Through dealing with an illness that sometimes makes it tough to do much of anything and often makes me wish I could inhabit a different body, running has alerted me to the fact that my body, even with its faults is still strong and able. Running has allowed me to make peace with my body during moments when I might have otherwise been really angry with it.
In thinking about why running has become such an integral piece in terms of maintaining feelings of self worth and identity-I realized something. Running is something that I can do all by myself. I don’t need anything or anyone to do it. I can do it no matter what state of mind I’m in-and man, is it a quick and simple cure for a bad day at work. And, sometimes I can even manage to get out there if I’m not feeling well-sometimes, I HAVE to do it when I’m not feeling so well. I think Jillian Locke says it best in her post Why I Run: “But to run is to rely on nothing else but ourselves. To run is to put complete confidence and stock into this bag of bones we were all given and transform it into a well-oiled machine, pushing it to the most extreme limits of what we can physically and mentally handle. We run to test ourselves and our endurance, to see exactly what we’re capable of. We run to hear the answers to our questions. We run to connect with our divinity.”
I’m thinking about this-after a run, I’ve never wished I hadn’t gone, hadn’t pushed myself to get outside and just let myself move. How many things that we do can we say that about?