Whoever said running was a cheap sport clearly wasn’t a runner. Just like I totally had myself convinced I could have made it to the Olympics on the badminton team…until I saw a REAL badminton game and realized how my backyard skills couldn’t even compare (even if I did dive for the birdie on occasion). I didn’t know what I was talking about, just like someone who has casually gone for a casual jog here or there might think running is a “cheap” sport. No, unless you are a true barefoot runner not in need of new shoes every 300-500 miles, who does not need to know your exact pace/distance/position in the universe at any given time just with a glance at your wrist, prefers old t shirts and sweat pants to sweat wicking anything, thrives on water and couldn’t care less about trying the latest must-have-guaranteed-to-not-cause-a-bonk-nutrition product, and would never dream of wasting $100 to run with 25,000 of your closest friends for a $5 medal and bragging rights, then maybe, running might be inexpensive. If you are like me, however, who stalks the pages of runners world like I did the Sears Christmas toy catalog as a kid, making a mile long list for Santa (only instead of Barbies and baby dolls it’s running skirts and “must-do races”), then running is a disgustingly expensive sport. So don’t believe the “easy and inexpensive” lies.
But here is something that running IS: reliable.
|New Hampshire, North Pole, same thing, right?|
No matter where you go, you can almost always run. I mean, sure, there are a *few* exceptions. Say, the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (though, I’ve heard there are running tracks on cruise ships, so don’t rule it out. ) But people run in the Sahara Desert, and people run the North Pole, and people run Mt. Everest…and even though I’m slightly dreading it even I can run a winter in New England (my fingers are cold just typing it). Point being, if there is a will, there is a way, and wherever you are, running will always be right there waiting for you.
And though it has taken me the entire five years of my running “career” to realize that, I now understand that is the exact reason I love it so much. It’s not the medals (though I looove the medals), it’s not the PR’s, it’s not the friendships and camaraderie. Those things are all amazing, for sure, but they are not what draws me inexplicably to this sport. I love running because running is ALWAYS there. Always. I love running because running has never let me down. Whenever I need it, it’s right there. Whatever I need to get out of it, I get. Running is never jealous, running is never resentful, running is never selfish. Running is not always kind, as many runs in the past have proven, but it is never angry, hurtful, spiteful, or vindictive. It never questions my motives, my desires, my drive. Only I question those things about myself. And therefore, when I run, I learn. I learn things about myself that are silenced when I’m weeding my way through the chaos that is day to day life as a mom, student, employee, etc.
Running is my constant. Ol’ reliable.
Life is crazy and unpredictable. Especially my life, especially as of late. But the one thing I can always count on is the ability for running to ground me, to clear my head, to bring me back to “me”. It allows me to give my all and to be incredibly selfish all at the same time. To work out my frustrations with every single foot fall on the pavement or trail. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times on this blog: running is cheaper than therapy. And unless you have felt it, you can’t understand it. Like food, water, and air, I need to run. Am I Heather, obsessed with running?
I am Heather, and I AM a runner. Take me or leave me.