And then in the 7th grade, in gym class, we were required to run the mile. And everyone was panting, and grabbing their sides all out of breath. And then there was me. The ugly, awkward, clumsy duckling. Running laps around the football field with all my breath and not holding my side. And as I passed my gym teacher standing on the sidelines, she yelled to me, "I think we finally found something you can do, Jenny!!", because people called me Jenny. And that's when my love affair started.
It didn't happen all at once. It wasn't something I would do every day. It wasn't until high school when boys were breaking my heart, and I needed to escape the cruelties of being a teenager did I turn to running completely. Running through teen angst, running for weight loss, running so I could eat cookies, and cake, and chocolate. Running to keep slim, running and running and running...and then something happened when I stopped running to stay thin. I ran for myself. I ran to stay sane. Duh...something clicked. I *needed to run like I needed to breathe. I didn't realize that when I took breaks from running, I wasn't myself.
My running...it's mine. It's my sanity, my saving grace, my therapy session, my unclutter-my-thoughts-and-leave-it-on-the-trail, my talk with God, my nature fix. It's the time when I rationalize everything in my head and make it right and tuck things away and reassure myself every little thing is ok and alright and it all happens for a reason. It's my passion, my soul, the one thing in my life I am more than happy to share and get excited about!! The more runners in this world the better!!!
I thank God every time I run for my runner's soul and spirit and legs and lungs to run miles. After years and years and years of running, I have realized that running has saved me. After years and years of pounding the pavement and thousands and thousands of miles, I've discovered that running has given me more than I can ever give back.
I am positive I wouldn't be alive if not for running...and my children.
I can tell you that running isn't always easy. But NOT running is harder. Life is hard sometimes, but running through this crazy, awkward life makes it easier.
If I could be anything in this life, it would be a unicorn who sweats glitter and runs on rainbows. But being a runner is the next best thing.