Weekends tend to be dedicated to the long run and the long run typically equals quality thinking time. Recently on a long run I found myself thinking about some family and friends whose new year started off rough. And then I thought about other friends and family whose new year began with joy and fresh starts. My mind kept switching from one extreme to the other and I found myself wanting to dedicate that run to my friends and family.
I dedicated it to those who have been going through hard times–health problems, loss of loved ones, personal hurdles, financial struggles, relationship challenges. I wanted to run for them and with each step I hoped I was in some way helping them go forward to find moments of peace and clarity when they need it most. I felt like my run was in a way bringing them hope and a chance to start fresh. Each step was a clean slate and a move toward the change they need.
Running is a great cleanse and a great equalizer. I have often thought on my runs about those who are not able to run, or be active in general, whether due to physical, mental, social, economic, family or other reasons. I like the idea of running for them in some way but I’m never sure how one on the ‘receiving’ end of my run would feel. Do those who can’t run really want to be run for? I’m not sure, but the point is that running can be selfless when you direct your energy to those who need it. And so, more than once I have thought about how a run is dedicated to those who cannot run.
But running is also a celebration. It’s a way to start fresh in a happy way, to exert positive energy and bring excitement, hope and spirit into the day. On many occasions, for no particular reason, in the middle of runs long and short, I have said out loud to no one, “God I love running!” The fact that running makes me happy and seems to make me a better person leads me to believe that I can run in celebration for those who are also going through exciting times.
Who you run for and why you run is entirely up to you. A lot of times, honestly, more often than not, I run just for me and even then it’s for a lot of ‘me’ reasons. But running for you is just as gratifying. So when you’re not running for you, who are you running for?