The Joy of Running
Someone texted me with the news that famed rock climber Alex Honnold just climbed Yosemiteís 3,000-foot El Capitan rope-free. This is a first in history. I just hope Mr. Honnold feels good about his accomplishment. After all, if what you do isnít fun, itís not worth doing in the first place.
Sometimes I sense that the elite runners I see on a course donít enjoy running very much. Iíve read some of their blogs. They berate themselves for not winning. Theyíre dissatisfied with what they can achieve. Iím not going to judge them. All of us have (or should have) high expectations of ourselves. But as far as Iím concerned, the runners who come in last in a race are as much athletes as the winners. Iím not a runner because my resting heart rate makes me one. Or my overall level of condition. I run because I enjoy it. The very activities that I once worked hard to avoid I now seek.
Take yesterdayís half marathon in Raleigh, for example. The physical and mental toll exacted by the final three miles of a half marathon is enormous. Eventually you end up running on auto pilot, picking up one foot and putting it down just one more time. But when I crossed the finish line yesterday, I did so with a huge smile on my face, arms high in the air.
There may be many ways to find that sense of accomplishment Ė like when you conquer your first mountain in the Alps Ė but for many of us, nothing works as well as running. It has nothing to do with winning or losing. It has to do with your being your very best and being grateful for that.
I once hated running. Today I welcome the challenge and the miles. And everywhere I go, I find people who share my love of running.
Running teaches you to enjoy the life God has given you. You learn to live in the moment. Running teaches us that our potential is limitless. Running is a chance both to be yourself and to be who you want to become.
June 4, 2017
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.