Running. What is it?
According to the Oxford Dictionary online it is to:
move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time
This is true, that’s what is it. That’s how we run. But it is more than that, it’s so much more than that. As a beginner runner I had no idea that this was the case. But now I do. It’s more than just a physical activity. It has become my solace.
On Wednesday a friend decided that life was all too much and that he had to leave. At first I was so mad at him! How could he do that to his family? To his friends? Why? Now the anger has faded into sadness, deep sadness.
On Thursday my Point to Pinnacle training plan called for hill repeats. I’ve been sticking diligently to my plan. When I’ve been tempted to do more Husband has gently reigned me in with his kind wisdom I know so well. Hill repeats. Husband and I did them together. It looked like two crazy people in our little town running up and down hills. One foot in the front of the other all the way to the top, turn around, go back down, do it again. But it was more than that. It was treatment for grief, for a broken heart, for a sadness that has come to my soul and will stay for a long time. Running, how did I ever cope without your gentle strength, your release, your comfort?
As runners we work on our bodies and our minds to endure. The heart grows stronger as our fitness and running increases. The lungs, likewise. Muscles get sore and tired but in the process build strength and the ability to sustain for longer, harder, faster runs. As a runner I have a new-found respect for my body and what it can achieve…. I ran a half-marathon…wow…I did that! As a runner my mind has learnt that I can do so much more than I ever thought possible… run constantly for 21.1kms? Oh my, I never thought I would EVER be able to do that! The respect I have for this physical body of mine has increased at the same rate as my fitness; at the same rate as the distances my feet have pounded out. I CANNOT imagine doing such a violent act against this body that I have worked so hard to transform into a runner’s body.
Running gives us hope, something to look forward to. A way to achieve. I wonder if everyone became a runner if the world would be a happier place? Perhaps I am being too simplistic and my heart-broken grief is talking here. But I really do wonder. Running. The simple act of putting one foot in front of the other in running steps has set me on the most beautiful journey I have ever experienced. I hope to keep experiencing this journey for the rest of my life. I hope to be a crinkly old lady in lycra and pink running shoes AND I will always smile and thank running for unlocking the amazing truth of what it really is. My solace.
Happy running 🙂 (it’s hard to smile right now)
There is ALWAYS someone who cares about us even if we don’t feel there is. Even if we can’t talk to those nearest and dearest to us, in Australia we can call LifeLine on 13 11 14 (those people are volunteers, and they really care about people!) Or we can visit the Beyond Blue Website. AND I care, talk to me!
In memory of Craig. My sweet, kind, caring, boy-at-heart friend. Thank you for all the swims at Alma’s Bridge, for all the body-surfing at East Beach, for fixing the children’s bikes. Happy memories of the biggest fan of my brownies – you always seemed to know the right time to visit! For helping Brown-eyed Daughter #1 choose her first car AND for teaching her how to hill-start (not sure why you chose the steepest street in town though, crazy!). For the cute nicknames you had for my children and for being such a fun part of their childhood. Thank you for being my friend when I needed you the most. I’m sorry that I wasn’t there for you and I’m sorry that the issues you faced seemed unsolvable. Happy memories are the ones I choose. Rest in peace, the troubles are over.