People like to pose the question: Why do you run?
I never know how to answer. Sure, I started running as a way to get healthy and lose weight – two things I’ve been successful at. But why did I keep running? If I met my goal, why didn’t I stop?
I usually avoid that “Why do you run?” question because anything I answer would feel like a lie. In fact, the only things that ever come to mind are: to help keep me sane and to de-stress. But how could that be when I often feel like I am losing it trying to fit my training runs into already overloaded days?
Tuesday night, while bending to pick up an upside down magazine from beside my bed, I realized why I run. I recognize that’s not a very sexy way to have an “aha” moment, but that’s when it happened – after putting my son in the bath and before folding laundry.
Earlier in the day, I read an email from my mom. She’s not well. She lives two states away. I feel helpless.
I went about the routine chores of the evening while my brain subconsciously dissected the information from her note. It surfaced precisely as I was picking up the magazine and suddenly I needed to go for a run. Right. Now.
And that’s when I knew.
A family friend teased me once after I questioned aloud when I would run that day. He pretended to push a needle into his forearm. The mime stung, and I held back tears. But now I know he was right on.
I run to get away from real-life. I run to a place where all I have to do is focus on some numbers and the rhythm of rubber soles on asphalt. I forget about dishes and laundry and aging parents. Running lets me escape reality.
And anything that does that is a powerful drug.
Why do you run? Do you really know?
Note: The night after I wrote this my father-in-law also had a health scare and is currently in the hospital. We don’t know what is going on as he is in Alaska. Prayers for my mom and my father-in-law, please. Also, who wants to sign up for a full marathon with me?
Thinking about your family during this time. Hugs
Why I run? Uhh I really don’t know – I don’t enjoy the training but I enjoy the races. So I guess so I don’t leave a race unable to walk the rest of the day.
Thanks, Jen. 🙂
I know this perspective exactly! Those who don’t run don’t get it. Just like I never understood cigarette smoking I guess.
If i didn’t live on the East Coast I would totally run a Marhathon with you! If I ever get out to visit my Brother in Issaquah I would love to run with you and the rest of the Pacific Northwest ladies!
Issaquah’s just up the road. Come visit!
My bad on the Spelling errors. My kids are home from camp today and driving me nuts!
Praying for your family
I started running while my fiance was deployed. It helped me escape reality. Some runs I would focus on him and his Soldiers, other runs just focus on me or maybe even nothing at all. Just lose myself in running.
This past week has been really difficult for me emotionally and I have not been running in over a week. This post made me remember why I started running initially and that I can channel this emotion out on my run.
P.S. I would sign up for a marathon with you! But we live too far apart, unless you want to come run one in Idaho 🙂
I’ll be in WA for the Amica Seattle Half. Are you running that one?
Thanks, Cynthia. I can’t imagine having a loved one fighting overseas. Hope your week gets better — I’ve lost motivation to run, as well. But I am running the Seattle Half in Nov.!
Oh yes, to escape reality…I did that for 2 years, it worked well for me….and now I try. So I run for the exact same reason. It is my way of putting my head in the sand.
I am so so sorry to hear about your mom and FIL. I sincerely hope all is well and they both recover soon. I know how it is to feel so helpless…and from experience, do what your heart tells you. If it says to go to them, then go…everything else will still be there when you get back.
I’m praying hard for your family.
Thank you so much.
I run to escape, for sanity. I never used to actually LIKE running, I’ve tried to like it so many times always starting in a bid to try loose weight. October last year I started AGAIN in a bid to train for the London marathon (and loose weight) and its finally clicked and now I run to (still loose the rest of the weight) but this time round I LIKE running, I enjoy it.
Thought are with you for you and your family xx
Thanks Lara. Were you able to lose weight while training for the full? I struggled with that.
Praying for your family Kerrie. So sorry for their health problems. AND – do you want to do CIM?!?!?! I’ll forward you the email we just started!
Thanks lady. CIM 2013? My dad lives about 5 min. from the start line.
Prayers for your family. And the why? Kind of like yours, running is one of the first “selfish” things I’ve really focused on in a long time. I need the moments away from being mom and being needed, needed, needed all the time. Also, it makes me less angry. I wish I wasn’t angry, but I think running is working better than therapy could to get me to a better place.
It makes me less angry, too. Why is that? Thanks for prayers Laurie.
Awww….Hugs Kerrie! Why do I run? Hmm…because someone thought it would be a good idea 🙂 and because if has become such a bonding experience for Al and I. 🙂
Thanks lady. I love that you and Al run together. I hope Karsen continues to want to run with me when he gets a little older.
Yes, yes and YES. I totally get where you are coming from. I started running and keep running for the same reasons you stated. Just today I was so angry over some family drama and I went for a run and then was able to handle it.
I’m sorry about your mom. I hope she improves.
Hugs for your mom and FIL. I hate that you are so far away…
I run to escape, too. But, I think I mostly do it to connect with other people. At first, they were imaginary friends like you, that lived far away. Now I’ve used it as my way to make new friends in a new city. I blame social media for my start and for being able to continue and enjoy it as much as I do.
No full for me. But if you really want to “get away”, come with me to run a half in some random state next year. Please! You can even pick the state:) By the end of 2012, I’ll still have around 35 to go.
I first started running 4 years because I had a crazy, high energy dog, but I keep running for me. Because running is my sanity and has opened doors in my life that I never even knew existed. And now, I simply can’t imagine my life without running! When people joke about me being addicted to running, I’m not offended. I smile proudly and agree. If you’re going to be addicted to something, there are a lot of way worse things than running!
I will keep your mom and father-in-law in my prayers…
I am pretty sure you hit the nail on the head for why I run, too 🙂 I imagine it is that way for a lot of people (maybe moms that try to juggle it all, especially?)
I am running the Victoria half in October… you could join… 🙂
That is one of the same reasons I run. I need the escape. I need to be in control. So many things in life are out of my control, but I can control my running! In fact, one of the reasons I ran my first full marathon at the beginning of the year was I needed something to look forward to that I was in control of. I hope your family is doing ok!
First off, prayers for your mom and FIL.
Second, do Portland. Still a few slots left.
Last, thanks for your honesty. It’s not the only reason I run, but some feeling of control is a big part of why I run. I’m a control freak, okay? Sometimes the only thing I can control is how many miles I can run. My dad’s fight with cancer taught me that although you can’t control if you get cancer (or some other horrible illness/injury/condition), being fit helps you fight it for all you’re worth.
I’m sorry and hope your parents feel better by now. I’ll keep them in my thoughts.
I run because it makes me feel proud of myself and it made me realize I can do anything I want. Plus I made many running friends and in order to hang out, I have to run with them.
I believe I am the same and reading this just made me realize it. I’ll be praying for you and your loved ones.
I want to sign up for a full but have been gun shy, I’m thinking I’ll have to wait till next year since my running has been sporadic and minimal the last couple of weeks.