Nat Runs Far explains how she became a runner and why she continues loving the sport.
The Gift Of Running
I’ve been running for as long as I can remember. Yeah, I tried other sports–my mom thought tennis was really important, so I took tennis lessons. I tried basketball (I wasn’t good), I very much wanted to be a cheerleader (I didn’t make the team–boy, that still stings), I became a pretty good swimmer, I loved to bike, soccer was a blast, I took ballet at a fancy ballet school (you know, the kind for future aspiring professional ballerinas) for years (it wasn’t my jam). I was a well-rounded kid for sure. I played flute in the band and orchestra for eight years during elementary and part of high school, and I was really good. I was first chair and had the option of taking my skills as far as I wanted. There came a time in high school when I had to choose which passion I wanted to pursue: did I want to become a distance runner or an aspiring flaustist?
I ultimately chose running.
Work, marriage, kids…it all intertwined in my life in the most seamless, messy, beautiful ways. Running was right there, always by my side. Sometimes, I wonder why I write about running. Does anyone care how many miles I ran for the week, or that I positive-split my tempo run, or that I ran a personal best? Do we really need another smoothie recipe?
The thing I do know is, if writing about running encourages just one person to take a step out the door for a first run, it’s a victory.
If writing about running challenges someone to step outside their comfort zone and push themselves to be a bit more than they were the day before, it’s a win.
If sharing my experiences as a runner helps a harried mother give herself permission to explore a trail, take a breath and exhale for a short while, it’s worth it. If it gives her strength to join a new running group or ask a friend to run with her–which in turn helps that friend–then the spark catches fire and, before we know it, a whole community is moving their bodies.
If sharing a researched tip, meal or warm-up gives someone a fresh perspective for the week, then it’s a tiny gift.
If blogging, writing and encouraging through the written word entices someone to train with heart, try something new or become the best version of themselves through the sport of running, then it all totally makes sense.
I know that running gives us the ability to dream beyond the clouds. It lifts us up in so many ways and is the kind of friend that we all need. Sometimes friendships get sticky and we have to take a break; sometimes we realize that nothing is perfect.
If you ever feel like giving up: don’t. Take it one day–and one step–at a time. Ride the wave of uncertainty; feel the joy of achievement; celebrate the victories and muscle through the less than ideal moments. Let your body take you wherever you want it to go. In that small space of time, you are in control and anything is possible.
This. Is. Running.