What I’ve learned in my 30 years on this planet is that people always ask why.
Especially if you set out to do something with such determination that nothing- nothing of the not-a-thing variety- will stop you.
I’ve been asked why I run. So, here it is.
I run because my Dad beat cancer and is running again. After his body was attacked by two different deadly cancers, he endured it- chemo and all, overcame it, and then when he felt strong enough, he started running again. What’s my excuse? It’s too hard? No. I run for my Dad.
I run because some people can’t. Like my student “M” who wrote on his goal sheet assignment that this year- besides doing well on FCAT Writes and reading 20 books by May, he also wants to learn to walk. What’s my excuse? I can walk. I can run. I run because “M” can’t, and when it gets really tough, I remind myself what “M” wouldn’t do to be in my running shoes right now. I run for “M”.
I run because I have a daughter. I want her to have a healthy body-image and self-esteem. Everyone knows that children learn by example. I must be that example. If I have a day that I don’t feel like running- I can just look at her, and say to myself “It’s for me, but it’s for her.” What’s my excuse? I have the ability to show her a daily example of how to live a healthy lifestyle. (Bonus: I’ll be fit enough to run and play with my grandchildren.) I run for my daughter’s future.
I run because God commanded me to get in shape. He has a plan for me that requires me to be fit, social, and self-confident. Much of my quietness a lot of time came from my poor self-image. My after-baby body was far from what it used to be and I did not feel good about myself. In order to make a difference in the world, I must get active. My body is a temple and I must care for it. I must run. As I prayed about it one day, the Lord spoke to me through Isaiah 40:31:but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Some spiritual leaders may think that I’ve taken this a little too literally, but it was something that I was pointed to, and after many hours of praying, I was led to run.
I run because, through example, my Dad taught me to run. He ran every morning of my life. Sometimes I’d accompany him on a bike or rollerblades. Or, I’d hear the hum of the treadmill coming from the garage.
During my 5K, I was listening to a playlist that I made for the race. The song “Run, Baby, Run” by Sheryl Crow was among the songs that I threw into my “running mix” without much thought. I completely teared up when the song came on; here are a few of the lyrics:
And her Daddy marched on Birmingham, Singing mighty protest songs
And he pictured all the places, Where he knew that she’d belong
He failed and taught her young…
The only thing she’d need To carry on………
He taught her how to
Run baby, run baby, run baby, run, Baby run
Past the arms of the familiar
And their talk of better days
To the comfort of the strangers
Slipping out before they say
Baby loves to run ~ “Run, Baby, Run” by Sheryl Crow
I run for vanity. I run for stress-release. I run to get away from my house and just be “me” for an hour. I run to feel the wind on my face and the sweat on my brow. I run to feel alive. I run to push myself mentally and physically. I run to become a better person. I run for my husband. I run for motherhood. I run for patience. I run for self-esteem. I run because sometimes life just hurts.
It took 30 years, my Dad’s deadly disease, a family of my own, my Dad’s perseverance and God himself to get me motivated. And now, I just. can’t. stop.
Thank you, Dad. Love you.