I remember all of my hard runs. The runs when every step is a struggle; every breath feels like fire burning in my lungs. I remember what I thought and felt and how my mind is my biggest enemy. Just turn around; just stop running; you can't do this today. But, I don't turn around; I don't stop; I can't. My runs are mine; I own them; even the hardest of runs. My runs are stolen time. My runs; they define me. I owe myself these runs; and I owe running my life.
Running has saved me from time to time; saved me from sinking into a deep, dark pit.
I had a really hard run Sunday morning. One of the hardest in my memory bank of runs. I felt like I was running in quicksand. Every way I turned, the wind was pushing against me, and I felt like quitting. I turned up my music and tuned my own voice out and I just stopped thinking. I looked down at only the step ahead of me instead of the whole trail in front, because that whole trail was really overwhelming. Little steps; slow steps; music blaring.
|Taken on my run Sunday morning|
And then I turned a corner, and the wind was finally at my back, and my favorite song in the whole world came on, and I got goosebumps from head to toe. I felt this little nudge on my back; pushing me along; helping me up this really hard hill; and my legs, they didn't feel so heavy anymore. The only voice I could hear in my head was you are not alone; you are never alone.
We all need a little nudge sometimes; a little help; a little push up that very hard hill of life from your family or friends or God or whatever you believe in.
These hard runs, while they are few and far between, they make me appreciate the good runs, the easy runs, the perfect runs. The hard runs make you realize how very good the good runs really are. The struggles make the good even better...in running and in the hard days of life.
*all photos taken with my iPhone