Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Purpose of Running

When I think about my life, I wonder sometimes what it's all been about. I married young, had kids right away, didn't finish college (although I am in the process of remedying that.) I have an average, non-descript career and I've never done anything particularly impressive or useful for anyone else that I'm aware of. I guess more than anything, I don't feel as if I've left a mark.

Having just recently turned 42, I've been spending a lot of time lately considering where I am these days
 - not in the physical sense, since obviously I'm sitting here typing this post - but rather more in a spiritual/mental/emotional sense. What have I accomplished? What am I doing now...what's in the future?

Just your typical mid-life crisis stuff, I suppose, assuming I have indeed reached the middle of my life (to be honest, I hope I'm not quite there yet!) Since I've found myself extremely - and quite possibly permanently - a few bucks short of what I'd need to go buy myself a nice little sports car, it's been necessary to direct my angsty energy elsewhere. So what to do, what to do... 


Actually, I didn't know at first that running would be as helpful as it's been so far. It was definitely more of an "after-the-fact" discovery, a happy accident - not overnight, mind you, but certainly noticeable. My moods are more stable, my body is stronger. Generally speaking, I just feel better.

My husband thinks the only reason to run, ever, is if you're being chased. Running is something I do because I genuinely like it.   For me, it's like being able to meet myself and find out what I'm made of. It's not an easy activity, but as they say, nothing truly worthwhile is easy. Every training run and every race is an opportunity to dig deep and push the envelope both with my body and my sense of determination.

In other words, running gives me a purpose - not the be-all and end-all purpose to all things - but enough of a purpose to keep looking forward to the things I dream about doing with the rest of my life.

Running On Purpose. It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

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