Many thanks to all my readers who wished me good luck on running the Hood to Coast 2011. I did indeed run all three of my legs and can now call myself a Hood to Coaster, or some such thing. You know I must have had a good time if I’ve already signed up for another run on October 2nd, the Great Columbia Crossing. And I did have a good time running Hood to Coast. There is a lot to be said for having accomplished a goal, but it is even more powerful to be part of something bigger than you, bigger than the daily experience.
I went to work on Sunday a bit stiff, but it was great to have the opportunity to talk immediately about the race and what the race really reminded me of: I am a part of a community. And the role of community in our lives certainly centers us in ways that solitude cannot. Community brings us back into a fold that reminds us of the connectivity of humanity and how being connected reaffirms our very existence. Continue reading
Monday night I went out for a run. The sun was just right and I caught my reflection in the windows of the library as I ran past. Mentally I paused. On one hand, I’m still packing around more weight than I’d like. But I’m also stronger and faster than I was. It really is all about perception, isn’t it? If I had recently lost 100 pounds, I would have looked at those running legs and thought “Yeah Baby!” And if I had recently gained 30 pounds, I would have looked at those very same legs and been frustrated. Instead, I looked at those legs and thought, “Well, they might not be skinny but they are running!”
It is tempting to look for the worst in ourselves. Often, we are absolutely incapable of cheering for ourselves, instead saving our pom poms for others we perceive more worthy. But that perception is no more valid of a reflection of the truth than my reflection in the library’s windows. No matter how lean or lumpy a runner looks, or how fast or slow a runner runs, then very act of running makes them a runner and that is cause for celebrations complete with pom poms and cow bells.
Technically, “Still Running” is the team name I’ll be running with for Hood to Coast 2011. But it’s apropos today because I’m still running, even though it doesn’t always feel like something I want to do. Every time I lace up my shoes in spite of not feeling like it, I am reminded of why I run…because it frees me from the frustrations of my day. Running allows me to escape my demons for a few miles. But sometimes, running is also a reminder of those demons.