The truth is that I am not asked, “Why do you run?” very often if at all. I’m not some incredibly talented runner who can go fast and long. I have never won a race and I am firmly in the pack of the pack. I am not some existential runner who causes people to constantly ask Why? I am just that girl who is seen randomly on the side of the road pushing the hardest she can. I am barked at and chased by dogs. I am cheered by supportive drivers and I am forced off the road by others who think it is funny to make a runner jump. My mileage is low (right now) and my pace is slow. But, I still get out that front door at least 3 times a week and I pound the pavement. My legs are tired when I return and oftentimes my muscles ache. Why would I do such a thing? Why would I seemingly put myself in danger and cause myself discomfort?
I will tell you.
I could easily say that I run to shed this extra weight that has never left me after the birth of my son four years ago. I could say I run for extra fitness and a beautiful body. I could say I run to make myself more attractive to my husband. All these things are very true and I am confident that all these things will happen. They will happen in their own time. But, I don’t focus on them.
Well, why do you run then? I will tell you.
It goes far deeper than my weight, fitness, and appearance.
I run to prove to myself that I can. My life has been filled with attempts at many things only to be pushed aside when they got hard. I have started weight loss and fitness programs only to give up when I got uncomfortable. And then I would nurse my sense of failure with laziness and food. I would start a business idea only to give up when the nitty gritty took hold. I have started writing many times only to stop when my mind went blank, convinced that meant I was never destined to be a writer. I bought the lie that it should all come easily. Hook…Line…and Sinker.
Where has this taken me. Nowhere. It is true that I am blessed to be a wife and a mother and nothing can take that away from me. I am a Homemaker and a Homeschooler and I love the life God has given me. But, I know there is so much more potential in this mother of one. I just haven’t allowed myself to find it. Once it gets hard, I quit. I praise the Lord I have never quit on being a wife and mother.
I will train for a marathon (26.2 miles) to prove that I can do something hard and I can finish it. I will prove that I can. I will prove that I can dig deep inside myself for the energy and strength I need. I will call upon the Lord to get me to the finish line because I know only He can get this “nothing special” lady there. I will prove that I can push through the hard days. I will prove that I can silent the thoughts that say “this is too hard. Stop, ” and instead choose to listen to the thoughts of affirmation and encouragement.
I do not run to win or to prove anything to anyone. I do not compete. Pace and race times are merely tools for quantifying improvement.
I run to prove that I can.I run to change my life.