Running to me is far more than a workout. It’s not just a way to stay in shape, or a something to do. It’s part of who I am.
While I don’t run as much as when I ran competitively, I still empathize well with running. It’s part of my personality. I am a very high S on the DISC Personality test, which essentially means that I love people and hate confrontation, like a golden retriever for instance. So when it’s time to fight or flight, I am usually long gone. Not that I can’t handle some confrontation, but it is not my area of comfort.
That leads me to run. I naturally have a tendency to run away from confrontation, both literally and metaphorically. To lace up my shoes and hit the pavement is to distance myself from the world, my problems, my pain. When I run, it is me in a primal form–running for survival, running for comfort, running for sanity. When I am most broken, when I have had the hardest day, when I feel alone, I hit the street because no one can get me there. No one can tell me what to do. No one can tear me down. I am free from the world, and I push myself as far physically as I am being mentally, spiritually, or emotionally.
I think everyone could learn a lot from running if they gave it a chance, though I know it is not for everyone. But to me, the pain of running is the affirmation that you’re alive and can conquer your problems, your pain, and your brokenness. The wind in my hair calmly whispers the affirmation I want to hear from the world, “You can do it.”