Am I Really a Runner, or Simply a Person Trying to Figure Out Who I Am?

21 Feb

The Long Road Ahead

Why do I connect so deeply with running, I thought to myself the other day.  Sometimes I question, am I really a runner, or simply a person that has to run in order to maintain some sanity in my life.  Through broken hearts, shattered dreams, challenging moment of self-doubt, and triumphant achievements I’ve ran.  I find myself running faster and faster as I process thoughts of what I want and who I am.

Running has often been counseling for me, as it forces me to be honest with myself.  The minute I start running my head floods with the thoughts and feelings, and as hard as I try to put them aside I get lost in my ideas.  I’m tempted at times to stop right in the middle of a run and start writing, or call a friend and share my ideas, or start working on a project.   Sometimes I consider forgoing my run because facing my deepest fears, those that often surface as a result of running, is so scary.  My emotions are most evident right in the middle of a run, I can’t hide anything, and the expression on my face tells exactly how I feel at that very given moment.  At times it feels like stepping in a tunnel of darkness, panic sets in and I come face to face with my fears, but I keep moving forward, keep pushing, and eventually I see the light.

Finding something you’re passionate about, whether it’s running, another sport, or an entirely different hobby, allows for this.  I’ve heard other people share similar stories about their practice in the discipline of yoga.  I’ve heard writers who have had this experience, and artists who create masterpieces because they release so much of their energy in the process of developing their work.

A person’s soul has many layers.  It has secrets and dreams and expectations and joys.  For me running brings each of those layers to the surface and forces me to be honest with myself.  I emerge with greater clarity as a result.  So while its great exercise, it so much more than that for me.  It’s likely what gives me the ability to navigate life effectively.  “How did you become such a good runner Kim”, I’m often asked.  I’ve thought on the technical skills I’ve developed over the years but at the end of the day it’s this.  My running abilities are solely a reflection of my commitment to understanding myself.  I’ve added mile after mile, I’ve become faster as a result, and the only real explanation of how, is simply because it takes me that long to figure out life.

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