WHY OH WHY
The Why. It’s something that we think about as runners all the time, isn’t it?
You’re racing, feeling good, and then suddenly you’re not. You think “Why do I do this?”
It’s pissing rain and freezing, you have to go to work and you have a training run scheduled for that morning and again you think “Why do I do this?”.
Why do you do it? Why do we do this?
Knowing this answer can get you out of some pretty intense situations.
Knowing this answer can get you to the finish line of a race.
Knowing this answer can get you out the door.
My Why? It’s always something I’ve considered quite personal previous to now. But one of the things that running long has taught me is that there are no secrets after hours on the trails. There you are; raw and completely stripped down. You’re filthy, you stink, your mouth tastes like tartar and you feel sore muscles in your body that you didn’t even know were there. After long miles on the trail you are just you. The same you but the bare bones version and it’s one of the only ways as a human I can say that I’ve felt this way.
Outside of running I pretend a lot. But pretending takes energy. If you’ve trained with me on a long run or supported me during an ultra then you’ve seen the real me. It means that on that run I’ve been in my own head for a while, thinking about my Why, and here it is….
I run because to date, it’s the only place I can be completely, utterly real. I can feel and accept myself fully and think about the hard stuff. Because it’s when we think about the hard stuff that we can actually heal, right? A quote like that has got to be on someone’s Facebook wall written over a photo of burning candles…
That calf muscle that’s shaking? That’s nothing like growing up in a home where you’re told you are garbage and will never amount to anything.
Getting to the top of a steep climb, sun shining through the trees, is always a better place to me than anywhere else.
Nature is therapy. It’s real and it’s pure and it’s wonderful.
My Why isn’t one thing and it always changes but that’s the beauty of it. For so long I thought that running was a selfish sport. It’s not. We need to do the things we love to be able to be kind to ourselves and in turn, be kind to others. Never apologize for needing to get your run in. Never apologize for doing something for yourself. Be you. Be amazing.
Shine that light, Sister!
Trail running isn’t just escaping demons, either. Above is my Why, but I have good friends that answer that same question very differently.
Some choose running as a way to see what they’re capable of.
Some choose running as a way to show gratitude to their bodies for allowing them to move.
Some choose running as a way to feel as if they are part of a community. Because we all know trail runners are the best fucking community out there!
Whatever the reason, know this: you are perfect. And every morning when you get out that door think about Why, and let it make you a better, more purposeful runner.
All my love,
If you have a Why I’d love you to share it!! Let’s get all vulnerable and stuff <3