What it’s all about

For me, running has always been about a lot of things, sometimes depending on the day, even..  Getting healthy.  Loosing weight.  Being athletic.  Achieving the impossible.  Being a part of a team.  Being able to do something independently.  Inspiring others.  Persistence.  Dedication.  Stress relief.  Because it fills a void.  Because I have to.  Even because I enjoy it.
But, it wasn’t until today, when I read a quote by Sir Roger Bannister, the first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile, that I realized what all of these things boil down to.  He says:

 “We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom.  No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’  The human spirit is indomitable.” 

Running, for me, is about Freedom.  Freedom in the deepest, purest, most definitive way.  And no one can take that away from me, although they may try.  Running, for me, is almost spiritual.
Due to various unforeseen circumstances in my “non-running life,” I have not run this week.  I won’t even say I haven’t been able to run – or that these conditions have stopped me from running – I just haven’t run.
And here it is Wednesday afternoon and I feel like I am a captive.  A prisoner of war.  Of my own thoughts, actions, setbacks, failures, disappointments, doubts, fears, and indolence.  And the battle is raging inside me…to run or not to run?  That which should not even be a question.
Because running is Freedom.  I am routinely (and I know I am not alone) sucked into the vortex of day-today-life.  We are lost in the never-ending saga of work, relationships, bills, deadlines, taking care of others, cleaning, running errands, cooking, studying, raising children – whatever it may be – and we forget to nurture our own selves.  Freedom is the food for our souls, our minds, our emotions, and even our bodies.  And as our lives and jobs and obligations and time becomes more and more constrained, which they do, it is more important – more imperative – than ever to nurture our human spirit.
Running is my sustenance.  I don’t think I can live without it.  No, I don’t mean if I don’t run tonight or tomorrow I will keel over dead on the spot, but everyday I don’t run, a little bit of my determination diminishes, a little bit of my spirit weakens, a little bit of my freedom fades away.  Add these little bits up over time (like the years I previously spent not running) and life becomes wearisome, hopeless, and overwhelming austere.  And in my case, toxic.  This is why I spent years depressed, overweight, sad, emotionally fragile, unstable, ill, addicted, and angry. 
I am never going back.  I can never go back.

To stop running now, would be to stop being free.
And I will let nothing stand in my way, in the way of my indomitable spirit.

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