It’s just running. When I get excited about, nervous over, obsessed with my training or a race, there’s always a part of me that says “calm down, girl. It’s just running.” When I went to the ortho last week and he said that I needed surgery to fix a whole slew of problems, that I should find something else I liked to do for a while, my heart sank, my ears rang, my eyes blinked away a tear or two. And then my brain said, “calm down, girl. It’s just running.”
But it’s not. It’s not just running . . . not to me. It’s my life, it’s my family, it’s my purpose, it’s my salvation, it’s my hopes, it’s my dreams, it’s who I am, it’s what I want to do when I grow up. Since my trail-iversary in 2013 (which was yesterday, actually), the majority of my most important friendships/relationships have formed thanks to running. Running has taken me to Chamonix, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. Running has tested my limits, pushed me physically and mentally in ways I never thought possible, saved and lifted me up on the darkest of days, celebrated my happiness on the best ones. There is no drug or drink that can beat the feeling of an amazing run. There is no anti-depressant or therapist that can make you feel better than a hard, soul-crushing, miserable, suck-fest of a run that strips you down, leaves you raw, and makes you forget everything that may be wrong in your life (at least for a little while). Running has changed who I am as a person. It’s forced me to learn to love pain and suffering. It’s allowed me to stop caring what my thighs look like or what number the scale says and appreciate the fact that my body (big or small) can carry me a 100 freaking miles. It simultaneously lets me run away from things when I need to and run towards something better.
After hearing that I needed surgery, I threw myself a gigantic pity party which consisted of a bottle of red wine and Scandal marathon during which main character Olivia Pope stated she wanted “painful, difficult, devastating, life-changing, extraordinary love.” That’s running to me. I’ve gotten the life-changing and extraordinary part out of it. Now it’s time for the painful and devastating. But at least it’ll be temporary, at least I’ll be back sooner rather than later, and at least it’s just running.