I had another post cued up for today, but I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts forever and when I realized it was National Running Day, I figured it was a good day to finally get it out.
Some of my favorite memories of high school are of track and cross country meets. Especially the track meets when I was running multiple events (in some meets, a distance medley or 4×800 relay, the mile, and the 800) that were all spread out, so they were an all-day affair, with plenty of downtime that was usually spent playing cards with my teammates.
Those meets, and the hundreds of practices that enabled me to run well in them, got me to fall in love with not just running, but runners as a group. I admit to getting frustrated with corral jumpers and people who suddenly slow to a walk right in the middle of the road during a race, instead of moving to the side. And if I’m being totally honest, I get a little extra motivated to beat someone wearing a crazy costume or a tutu.
But overall? Runners are freaking awesome. At the core, we’re all out there for the same reason. We may call it something different — lose weight, stay sane, a healthier heart, whatever — but really, we’re all just out there trying to be a better version of ourselves.
We run to achieve a goal. We run to spend time with friends. We run to get stronger and faster. We run to outfox time and its high cholesterol and blood pressure. We run to enjoy another cupcake. We run to feel proud of ourselves. We run to calm ourselves and our crazy minds. We run to feel freaking alive.