I wrote the free association exercise below in response to Another Mother Runner’s call for “Why I Run” story submissions. I wasn’t going to submit anything at all, feeling that my story’s not all that interesting or motivational. Running itself isn’t a new thing for me; I’ve worked moderately hard to be fit most of my life; I haven’t overcome illness or major injury to get where I am today… my running journey’s pretty darned blah compared to some others out there.
But when I really started thinking about it – about why I run – answers kept coming at me like an all-out assault from the cavalry. Turns out, I run for a lot of reasons. I’ll share them here and pass the question along.
Why do you run?
I run… to feel the breeze against my face,
To wave to my neighbors,
To see the family of ospreys nesting down the road.
I run… to hear my footsteps quicken against the pavement,
To show my child how to work toward a goal,
To burn off last night’s cupcake.
I run… to clear my mind,
To get away from pressure and stress,
To find a happy place inside.
I run… to keep a healthy heart,
To beat last month’s pace,
To make a difference in someone else’s life.
I run… to see shiny medals around my neck,
To feel a deep, inner sense of pride,
To feel pain and joy and exhaustion and know that I am alive.
Because I can.