My response, at least internally? “How can I not?”
They ask me what I think about, how I keep my mind occupied. They wonder what you do when you’re running 13.1 miles — or, come October, 26.2. Honestly, sometimes I think about life, work, friends, family. But, most of the time I think about nothing. Most of the time I just, well, run.
To me, there’s nothing like slipping on my running shoes and heading outside to enjoy some uninterrupted me-time. If I’m listening to music, I put on some of my favorite tunes and just go, enjoying the feeling of the breeze on my face and experiencing the beat of my feet as they take step after step, propelling me forward toward my goal. And, sometimes, I leave the music at home and I listen to the rhythm of my breath and the sounds of the outdoors.
You see, running — for me — isn’t necessarily about doing something. It’s more a state of being. It’s a way of adding something positive to my life that makes me happy and, I firmly believe, a better person. And that’s why I choose early-morning runs whenever I can. They’re so much more fitting for my life and my goals than a run after work or lunchtime jog.
But, don’t get me wrong: I don’t run in the early morning to “get it out of the way” as some people have told me they do. It’s not just another chore on my to-do list. I love starting my day with a run. It helps me clear my head, focus and mentally prepare for the day ahead. Plus, it’s my me-time and I love it. No matter how difficult the run — including the ones where I come home drenched from cold, wet snow or sleet — I walk in the door smiling.
When something you love becomes a to-do item to be checked off, it’s time to reconsider why you’re doing it. They also shouldn’t have to be something you squeeze in between the day’s responsibilities. Yes, we all have our days where our lists of things to do grow longer than the list of hours in the day. And, unfortunately, a run has to take a backseat to taking a kid to the doctor or finishing up a proposal at the office. Some times we just don’t know how we’re going to work in what we want to do while doing what we need to do. For me, that is usually when it’s time for a re-evaluation, or at least a closer look.
“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” ~John Bryant
Running has become a priority for me because, as I’ve mentioned, it makes me a better, stronger, happier person. And because of that, I’m better in all areas of my life. I have more energy. I have more focus. I have more peace. I have a clearer mind. In all facets of my daily life, I’m able to take on bigger and better challenges — with a more positive attitude — because of running and the benefits it gives me.
So, yeah, that’s how I run. I suppose, it’s also why I run. I run with my heart, with my head, with my body, with my soul …
I run with everything I have so I can be everything I can.