i'm in love

I have been a runner off and on throughout my life since as far back as I can remember. It started when my dad found running, and got the family involved. I would guess it was probably 1st or 2nd grade that he had us running 5ks, and pretty soon we were doing a few 10ks. Dad was a marathon runner, and I have never really put much thought into it before recently.

At times, I felt very forced into running, and therefore never really liked it (well, because of that and the fact that I could be one hell of a lazy kid). In 2006 when Austen and I got engaged, I started working out and jogging to try to lose weight. While I have never appeared too terribly fat, there were times that I was indeed overweight, and I have really struggled with it since my teen years. Part of the problem was my love for alcohol. This is another one of the things that I can partially attribute to generations of alcohol dependence in various family members. I have no shame, and I will admit it-- I am just fortunate that I can look back and identify that there were times in my life where it had too much control over me. I am happy to say that I am past that point in my life. But back to the weight-- alcohol never helped.

Even when I took up running for weight loss, it didn't "stick" in my life and it was never consistent. The 10k mud run in 2007 helped me build a foundation, but I always ditched running when things got too chaotic in my life.

It feels damn good to say that running is now very much so a part of my life. I work full time, I have a 20 month old child and a husband that works 60-plus hours a week. More so than before, I have plenty of excuses not to be consistent, but it is part of my routine and has been for several months now. My thought pattern regarding running and any other type of workout used to be more like "I love running....I hate running.... I love running.... I hate running...." And ya know, I simply love running now. I am slow as hell and sometimes just running a couple miles is hard on my mind, but I love it. It is my meditation, my time to reflect. The things I think about when running... creation, love, death, nature, history. I am in a friggin beautiful place where my mind is free to wander! It is like a high that nothing else could give me. Maybe the effect it has on me has to do with my addictive personality.

I fully realize this post is strange and frank and maybe too honest. Obviously, I ran this morning and will feel good because of it all day. Some weeks I am unable to run as often as I would like. Anything less than three runs a week is not enough, and I am noticeably grumpy when I only get in that many runs.

I have done two half marathons and am not nearly as crazy as my father to be running full marathons. I don't think I could do it, but I also don't want to. However, I do want to run a few more halves, and I want to make improvements. I am still slow as molasses, but I want to get a little faster. I am already getting there, and that feels good. More than anything, it makes me a better person. More energized and more focused. It makes me a better wife, a better mom. I have a long way to go, but it is great to know I have found something that helps.

So there is no real reason for this post, other than to say thank you Dad for instilling this in me. To thank Austen for helping me have my 30 minutes to an hour of me-time every other day. And to shout from the rooftops, I LOVE RUNNING!

Until next time, aloha.

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