For no particular reason this year I’ve started with one word in my mind far too often…
I’ve run for 2 1/2 years now and have run races up to 100km. I regularly train and feel that I’m in a position to call my self a competent runner. But since The start of 2020 I’ve had this nagging in the back of my head asking me why I’m doing this.
In the past, and especially when starting out the reasons were easy:
1. Need to get fit
2. Need some exercise
3. Need something to do rather than be being lazy
4. Need to find a body I’m happy being housed in
And now …
Well I think I’m pretty fit, I do far more than the recognised minimum exercise for a male my age, I’m rarely ‘lazing’ around and I’m actually happy with the body I’m currently living in.
So that brings me back to the question of ‘Why?’ I don’t need to train so much, build plans for the types of run I do and the distances. I don’t have to run a mile in a certain time or run a half marathon before I have ‘earner’ my breakfast. I don’t. But in so many ways I do. I’ll explain.
So many of us live the same life. So many of us could smudge the name or the face of somebody else’s life and find it hard to distinguish their own from the anonymous strangers. Life is busy, family, work, commuting, housework, shopping, trying to keep all the plates spinning, the scales balanced… whatever is your preferred way of saying it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we don’t have each have our own amazing lives with families, kids and partners we love dearly, jobs we love/hate experiences and memories we treasure all that’s true for me and I’m sure most other people. But blurt the edges and squint and we lose distinction, we lose indiciduality
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the answer. This is the answer to my recurring and monotonous noise in my head.
Because it makes me who I am. It distinguishes me from a lot of the normality. It makes me still seem different even if you smudge the name and blur the face. I used to to think I was the kind of person that would prefer life in the shadows and never seek to be different in a way that made you identifiable. A ‘nothing to see here!’ person. Maybe I was wrong. Putting everything about my running out there for all to see. Leaving nothing out and allowing myself to be judged, encouraged, questioned – that’s what I do now.
I am not hiding in some wonderland that makes me think I’m the best or that I’m in some way more talented than anybody else. That I am very aware of – but I can be the best I can, given all the others pieces to my puzzle.
Running just ensures that the collection of puzzle pieces that makes up my life makes up my own personal picture and not one that I share with so many people.
I am me
2 thoughts on “Why?”
Love this Nick. I totally agree. And it’s internal as much as external. For me, running reconnects me with my sense of self at some level. It reminds me that, yes I’m a dad, a husband, a worker, etc, but running through all those things is an intrinsic thread of ‘me’ that sometimes gets lost amid life’s daily dramas. When I’m running, there are no other distractions. I can just enjoy the moment and enjoy being me.
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Well said. Running is my reset/reboot time