Why I Run
Running is a privilege. Anyone can run, right? Wrong. How many people do you see every day hobbling along with canes, restricted to wheelchairs, or too overweight to walk, let alone run? These are the people I think of when running gets hard. When my legs are tired, or my lungs are burning, it’s these people that push me through; some people would probably give anything to be able to run.
Running is a privilege. My dad’s mom had diabetes and had to use a cane to get around. She died when I was six years old, and I barely remember her. My sister Sarah told me once she often thinks of Nana when she’s going through a particularly brutal run. Like the aforementioned groups of people, it hits even closer to home when it’s someone you know personally inspiring you to just keep going.
Running is a privilege. Last summer I was laid up with some excruciating back pain. The doctors said I was lucky, it was “just" back spasms. Nothing about the pain I had felt lucky. You don’t realize how much you take for granted when your body isn’t conspiring against you. The same pain was back again earlier this week; on Monday I woke up with some twinges in my back, and within an hour or two I was in the emergency room getting prescribed some killer meds. I thank God it wasn’t as bad as last year, and I actually tempted fate and ventured out on a run today. I did a short route and wasn’t winning any races with my time, but I was out there.
Running is a privilege. Ever walked into City Sports, Dick’s or Sports Authority? Then walked right back out when you realize you don’t have a cool $100 to drop on a pair of UnderArmour shorts? I’m not saying you have to have money to run. I am saying you’ll be a lot more comfortable in the $100 pair of sneakers you’re running in versus the $30 Payless ones (believe me, I’ve had the Payless ones); your ankles and back will thank you for spending the extra cash. I’m fortunate enough to be able to invest in this hobby that I enjoy. Because things like appropriate sneakers, shorts, watches, whatever, are all investments. You’re putting the money down now to lose the weight, get in shape, run that 5k. To get a return on your investment, you’ve got to actually get out there.
Running is a privilege. People’s schedules today are crazier than ever. School, work, families; these things all take time. Lots of it. Not too many people have the luxury of being able to squeeze a few miles into their day. I’m one of the fortunate ones. When I press snooze instead of getting up for that run, I always always always regret it.
Running is a privilege. I’ll be damned if I’m going to take it for granted.