Why Did We Start?

I ran on Sunday morning. Not an aqua jog, not a shuffle, a run. It wasn’t fast, but it was 20km of restoration. I ran with my good friends and regular running partners, Rob and Gerda. Thankfully Rob has a newborn daughter and although in great running form, has some sleep deprivation issues. Gerda has recently battled a virus and taken some down time. So I wasn’t TOO far behind them… or maybe they were just being incredibly patient.

We climbed the never-ending hill of Southern Cross Drive just before sunrise and when I reached the top, a little after R & G and at the 12km mark of our run, I let myself relax in to the idea that Comrades 2016 is probably going to happen. I let the endorphins bubble over and shouted loudly, “Wooooohoooooo!!”. Then we had a moment around the water fountain, us  three, while we ate our Gu. We reminded each other of how much we love to run, how consistent we have all been in returning to our goals after setbacks, and how much more there still is to do.

And we discussed how hard we are on ourselves. Why? Why do we so often forget why we started in the first place? While my recovery journey begins, and my fitness levels are nothing close to optimal, I made a mental note to remember the reasons that I run.

I run to hear the owl high above me, making its owly sounds before sunrise, when the only other noise is my feet tapping the tar. I run for the moments around water fountains, the dips in mountain streams, the rain soaking me as work stress washes away. I run for the nod of a fellow runner passing by, the friendships, the laughter. I run so that I feel the sun beating down on me as I push just further, just faster, just a little more. I run to my babies waiting at the finish line.

I run so that I can eat pizza.

I didn’t start running for STRAVA segments or involvement in running politics. I didn’t lace up my takkies for the first time to feel pressure or berate myself for missing a time goal. I didn’t get in to it to make a career of it, or to feel an ego attachment to what is ostensibly one of the purest activities out there.

I can extend this thinking in to many areas of my life; we all can. We didn’t have children so that we would make the A Team, or fit a list of parenting ideals created by other people. We didn’t start our own businesses to feel trapped or compromised. We did not arrive here on this weird round ball to live out the dreams of any other person.

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We came for this. This is why we started. More of this, please.

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