I am in the process of finding my running identity again. As a child I loved to run. As an adolescent I loved to run. Whenever I needed a break, to think, to be by myself, I ran. Sometimes I wanted to be like the great 800 metre runners, or cross-country specialists. I was competitive for a while, but somewhere along the way I stopped running and I don’t really know why.
I studied, read, and went to the gym and aerobics with a friend whilst at university. Soon I was on an exercise bike and walking around the block. Then I was chasing after my kids, playing with them, studying still. There never seemed to be time to run, except after the kids, and yet the heart beat of a runner was still somewhere inside of me. I went to Yoga and did find that relaxing, but I never really took to it like my childhood love of running.
The last ten days I have been dreaming about running, and then getting up and actually doing it. I have started slowly, and made certain discoveries. Some of them are that my clothes are too loose, and I think I am bigger than I am when I buy clothes, my self-image is not so positive in this regard. Now I have shorts that fit properly when I run, no more hitching up my clothes in fear they will fall away. I need to wear my shoes or I just find my shins hurt too much. I always used to love running barefoot. I have very light running shoes though and they are almost as good. I run in them.
I know I love to run!
I am not running to lose weight, that would be a nice side effect, I am running because I love running. I love the feeling of being able to pick up the pace when I want to. Today I ran until I got the stitch. I pushed myself – to that tree, now that fence line, just to the corner, I said to myself ‘walk but only for a little way June, then run again.’ Then meeting up with my kids playing in a playground nearby, I raced them, yes to the fence, I nearly caught up – and I could feel the running bug truly set in.
Finally after my ten days of toying with running I am starting to feel the beginning of a habit, a memory of running as it was when I was younger. I don’t run to win, I run to think, to feel close to nature around me, and to just enjoy the control of my movement.