Sunday, February 24, 2013
Once in a while I sit back and wonder why I love running so much. What is in it that lights my flame as much as it does? It's an activity that doesn't always pay you back very quickly. It makes you ache. It requires a lot of effort, commitment and a reality-based attitude on what can be accomplished on each run. It requires you to be completely honest with yourself in terms of how you are feeling at any given moment, to be able to make the decision as to whether you can continue on or if it's time to call it a day.
Running has helped sort out many issues that became buried in me during various times of my life. There has been nothing else in life so far for me that has given me the strength and clarity to bring these issues out and deal with them once and for all. It's during my runs where the clarity kicks in and it's always right in the middle of a long run where these lightbulb moments start flashing.
Sometimes these moments make me smile and even laugh that it took so long to find my answer. Sometimes they make me shake my head in amazement that I didn't just automatically have the answer when the issue was happening. And sometimes it takes me down a very painful, emotional path filled with realizations that I was not previously strong enough to go down.
Finding the strength to face these has been an experience I will never forget. It has given me what I call "power" over my own life, when just moments before I didn't even realize that I had that "power". What the interesting thing is here, is that I had that "power" all along. It was just buried within me until I was ready to face it, accept it and use it to my benefit.
Running is something you accomplish all on your own. You can have a running partner or team that help with the motivation and accountability, but it's all on you to get it done. It's your one foot in front of the other, with each and every step that is taken. It's your chest that is taking the beating with the pressure that is being put on it. It's your form that needs watching to ensure you are doing what is best for your body's running ability. It's your responsibility to know what all of this means and if you don't, then you need to find the answers.
Running has taught me many things, but the most important thing has been that what I think and how I feel is important. Coming from a background as I have, I allowed others to convince me that I didn't matter. The things that I did, said, thought and dreamed about were of no importance. I have a difficult time now thinking back to this brainwashed way of thinking, and have a hard time believing that I was once that woman who believed such nonsense.
Emotional abuse literally transforms the way a person thinks and behaves. The journey I've invested in myself to reprogram the ways you train yourself to think in this situation, has been so difficult and frustrating. Just when you think you've conquered it, you realize there's still a bit more work to be done. It's worth the effort and pain to fix it all though and it is fixable, it just takes pure dedication and love for yourself and your life to not only accept it, but to say goodbye to it. The rewards are nothing short of priceless.
That's what lights my flame. Oh how I love my running...