I run. I am a runner. Of course, I am a runner in the same way that I am a writer. I am a runner not because of any acclaim, not because I am good at it. I am a runner only because I run, or maybe we should just tell the truth and call it jogging. Nonetheless, I run.
I may be the world’s worst runner. Picture a three-year-old child running toward the swings, arms flapping, zero form, just trying to get to the fun. That is what I look like running. It is ridiculous.
Besides that, I do not actually like to run. It is hard. I sweat, and I can’t catch my breath. My face gets all red and my legs ache. I also find it incredibly boring. Mainly, I just think about all the things I want to write. I create worlds and opinions and arguments as I stomp down one foot in front of the other.
However, I still run, usually, a few times a week. I do this because I know the end game. I know when the run is over and I am standing, hands on my knees, in my front yard or on the treadmill, trying to catch my breath that I will be happy that I ran. I will have a bit of pride and a deep gratitude. Pride in the discipline to do the work and gratitude for a body still able to exercise hard.
I run so that I can chase my children around the soccer field. I run because my own mom had a stroke in her mid-fifties. I run because I am stubborn. I run because I am anxious. And truth be told, I run because I want to be fit and thin.
Running may not be a cure all. I may still have a stroke in my fifties. Running doesn’t always keep my anxiety in check. But, it does make me free. And strong. And brave. And tough.
So I will keep running and writing. I will scratch both out in spite of my skill or grace in the endeavor.
You can too, you know. Whatever the thing is that you want to do, just get to doing it - one foot in front of the other, until one day you find your elusive nine minute mile.