I never fully understood why I enjoy running as much as I do. In fact, I only thought about it, after someone pointed out one day “You’re probably running from something, running from your problems, from your fears”. Of course, I laughed it off at first, thinking that’s absurd. I run because it’s a good work out, I feel great afterwards, makes me feel productive, etc. But then the more I thought about it, the more I realized running, for me any way, was as much spiritual as it was physical. As positive for my mind, as it is for my body. You see, I don’t go to Temple. I don’t go to Mosque. I don’t pray. Kanye West no Jesus Walks for me. Hozier doesn’t take me to church. No. What I do, is run. That’s what I do, and I’ve done it for years. Even when I was kid, and they asked what events I’d want to do in track and field. I chose the 1500 and 800. Every time. Did I win any medals? No. But I really enjoyed it. Have I tried any marathons? No. But I did run 20km randomly one day last year just to see if I could do it, which I did. Running. That’s my spirituality. The road and trails, that’s my cathedral. Now it’s been months since I’ve been out for a solid jog and I can’t believe the void I’ve felt personally over this last while. It’s as though I was missing something from my soul. I just couldn’t pinpoint what it was…until today. Stepping outside, with my gear on and running shoes. Just enough layers to keep warm while the wind blows into you cooling you down. You see, after my ACL injury, and after reading a few research studies on how long distance running may actually do more harm than good; that it could be more detrimental to the body than people know, I decided it was best to lay off long distance running. Perhaps that was a bit premature and hasty. Since I’ve been doing it now for over 15 years. But I felt as though I should concentrate on something else, some other physical activity and challenge. There’s crossfit, yoga, the gym, sports. All amazing, but still, I felt like something was missing. I know now that the research is completely irrelevant to me in some respect, because it only touches upon that first layer, that physical part. It doesn’t really talk about the mental aspect at all. And that’s why I run. For those mental benefits. To relax and yes get away, to unwind. Maybe it is a form of running away from my problems, and my fears. Or maybe it’s just another way to handle and come to terms with them. Never mind my injury, I’m healed. And fuck the research, I don’t need to run super long distances any way. In fact, I run to feel closer, not further. Closer to something, or someone. Maybe closer to God, or even closer to myself. I run for my sanity, in this crazy world we live in. Not for a better time or cross a finish line. I run to be at peace, to understand, and to make sense of it all. Not for anyone else, I do it for myself.
So run boy…run.