Monday, November 11, 2013

An Open Love Letter to Running

Dear running:

We've had a tumultuous relationship the last two and a half years. Some extreme highs, some definite lows, and all the while... we've been by each other's side.

Half-mary #1!
You found me when I was at my worst. Unhappy, unexcited, lonely, and desperate for some way to feel like I mattered or did something to say that I was proud of myself for... anything. A new job had taken me to the furthest state from home at that point, into a yet new territory for me and into a job that I wasn't loving. I felt like I contributed nothing, didn't accomplish much, and was just a body at a desk for the better part of my days.

I'm a marathoner!
And then I found you. You gave me something to look forward to, to strive for, to feel good about myself again. You made me feel accomplished, challenged, motivated and encouraged me to feel like I had a purpose again. Thanks for bringing me back to life!

Simply put, you filled the void that I struggled with every day for those two years. No desire to stumble out of bed, no desire to sit at a desk for eight hours on end, and no desire to feel connected to anyone or anything. Sure, our relationship was on-again, off-again, but whenever we were back on, we were on. I felt on top of the world.

Through you, I've pushed myself beyond any limits ever thought possible. From regular 5K-er to half marathoner, knocking off PR after PR, you pushed me to my best. When I decided a marathon was in the cards, you took me to a whole new place -- you led me to that special 1% club and I can't ever thank you enough for helping me see that when I set myself up to do something, I do it. I go all out, I make sure I get there, and you were my biggest supporter.

Georgia Publix ladies -- half-marathon #8!
You connected me to a group of sorority sisters, who became merely sisters by association, to friends and running companions. You helped me reconnect with old friends, or find community members who shared my passion and my drive for finding the next great race. Friends and running nerds who I could share in my victories, challenges, excitement, and downfalls with. Partners who pushed me past my  limits to do my best, encourage them at their worst, and help push others to new places too. Crazies who ran 200-mile relays with me to seek as new sources of inspiration, camaraderie, and friendship across state lines. To friends who completed their first half, their first full, or those who even ran their first 5K, I had a whole new collection of people who understood why I crashed early each night and was up before the sun most mornings. You understood me -- and helped me find others who understood me, too.

I felt like I had something to give others -- whether it was motivation, or some words of advice, or an experience to share. I contributed, I made a difference, and I was fulfilled. I'm a helper by trade and by person, and knowing that even if it was just one person I made a difference to, I felt fulfilled, purposeful, and grateful that I could impact someone in such a way.

And now here we are. You've been strung along a bit these last few months, as I've found a new job, new home, and am learning the ropes of both. Enjoying my time here, struggling a little bit, but overall an infinite change from my last home. I don't have that void anymore -- something that I found full (finally) in the last year is now full, for good.

It's not you, it's me. I'm happy. Things are good - and while going out with you every few days is awesome, we need to find a way to still share this bond and make it work. To keep me happy, to keep me sane, and to ensure that things continue along the way they're meant to. Thanks for holding me up when I was at my worst, and hopefully you'll continue to see me at my best.


4 comments:

  1. This post made me giggle - just the way you wrote it. However, I really hope you find your groove again with running. Somehow you need to make the switch from obsessive runner to casual runner. Maybe this weekend will help a bit since it's a fun run with a lot of friends!

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    1. I hope I find my groove too -- and that's most of the reason to run this weekend for fits and giggles, just to have a grand ol' time. So I remember why it WAS fun and why it SHOULD be fun, and then I can charge forward. I'm so excited for this weekend!

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  2. I love this blog post! Evan told me about it and I had to read it. It's personal and moving. I understand why you needed running in Athens. I hope you find a routine that works for you now in your new position! Miss ya!

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    1. Thanks so much Chandler. It was hard being that open about it (knowing I never know who reads it!), but after the realization I had (about the connection), I had to say it.

      Slowly finding a routine. Slowly. And (mostly) okay with it! :)

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