A character from a book walks around an old cemetery. As she does she reads each grave stone. Carved into the rock is the person’s name of who lies beneath. The dates of their birth and death. What follows? Not their occupation. Not the state of their bank balance. There is nothing to do with their possessions. What follows are the names of those they loved and who loved them back. For a stranger walking by their grave all the character finds out is about their most important relationships in life. I read this in a book so long ago that the title I can’t remember, but I do remember this cutting away of all that is truly important.
From the beginning of my running story I’ve been working on my relationship with running. Running has enabled the development and nurture of a number of relationships.
I’ve written about my knees in a previous post. Running has enabled me to really get to know them. Despite their creaks, groans and occasional complaints, Knees and I are getting on fine. Running has given us a whole new dimension to our relationship and they are quite happy to get involved as long as they get some special switch on exercises and some massage. It’s all about give and take with Knees.
- Heart and Lungs
Initially Heart was not too happy about all this aerobic stuff but being the considerate person I am I didn’t dump Heart in it, together we built up slowly until Heart could cope with the distances. Same with Lungs. For those first six months of running Lungs were really mad at me. They really felt like they were going to explode. Now they have done a complete turn around and love the feeling of all that air going in and out.
- Running shops
Yes, shopping! Running has nurtured a relationship with several running shops. My wallet and I love the occasional spend on some new funky running gear. After my spend-up in Melbourne earlier this year I did feel a bit guilty for such self-indulgence. I spent $300 in one hit! I lamented to Husband on my lack of self-control. I was feeling quite bad until he told me that a farm worker spends exactly this amount each fortnight on cigarettes for him and his wife!
- The Running Community
Since my very first fun run in Westbury I’ve been meeting some lovely new people. Unlike anything else I’ve been involved in running is all about being positive. Everyone is encouraging, everyone is happy to be out and about at an event and taking part. We celebrate each other’s successes. I’ve especially met some lovely people through Launceston parkrun and have really enjoyed the odd coffee after the run. The positive vibe is really refreshing and so much fun to be a part of. (Waves and blows kisses to parkrunners reading both in Tassie and OS!)
On Valentine’s Day I wrote about my Running Valentine. This is Husband. I wanted for us to do something off the farm together. Life is full of problems. Sometimes I joke and say life on the farm is like lurching from crisis to crisis. Running has given Husband and me a new thing to do together. Something that is happy, challenging and positive. It’s been really good for us.
Running has opened up a new lens through which to look at myself. Apart from the physical benefits of feeling fit and toned, running has shown me that a whole heap of things that I thought I couldn’t do I actually can. I’m still pretty uncoordinated but not that much that I can’t run. I can push myself a bit and improve in my speed (sometimes). Most importantly I can sensibly build up and run distances I didn’t think possible. Running has a very positive spin-off: I don’t just think I can’t do that I now think well maybe I can. Challenges don’t scare me as much as they use to. But to date my greatest running achievement, the one that brings tears to my eyes was the first time I ran from the house to the letter box (1.2kms). I’m not even sure if running the Point to Pinnacle will provide that feeling of accomplishment and achievement. A relationship with running has shown me a whole lot of good that I didn’t know I had.
I could go on and on about the part that running is playing in the forming and nurturing of relationships. All of them are positive. All of them are happy. All of them provide a means to challenge, grow and rethink the negatives and turn them into positives.
The selfish evil acts of two in Boston do not correlate with running. What they did is the complete opposite to my experience of running both on a personal and community level. Running provides freedom, joy and happiness and builds positive healthy relationships. My heart goes out to Boston and those who will live with the scars of grief, trauma and body.
Let’s keep running and keep putting happiness, joy and good into the world run by run.
Happy running 🙂