I feel like I could write a novel about how much I adore you! There are so many stories, memories, and lessons learned from you. My heart is full and I am glad that we have become friends again.
Remember when we broke up, twice?
The first time was when I was in high school. I had fallen in love with you after joining the cross country team. Being able to leave the circular motion of the track and go out onto the streets was thrilling. Yet my senior year during outdoor track my mind became bored with you. Going around in circles just wasn't for me. My coach was great about it offering me up shorter distances and even a try at throwing the javelin. But here's the thing; Belthoff's don't have speed and when I tried to throw the javelin I hit myself in the head. That should have been the sign for me to stick with running distance but I just didn't get it and so I left you.
The second time we broke up was because I was afraid of you. I had joined the cross country team in college and was excited to get back out onto the road. At one of the practices we ventured off into the streets. I was struggling to keep up with the others and was terrified that I wasn't going to be able to find my way back. I did find my way back but ended up giving up on you. Funny how those very roads are now my stomping ground and I know them like the back of hand.
Somewhere along the way we got back together. I don't remember when or why, but I am so grateful we found our way back. I am in love with you again and I do not see that love affair ever ending. I am sure we will have our ups and downs like all relationships do. There will be moments when I won't speak to you but then I will give you a great big hug and together we will hit the pavement.
Oh dear running, you have brought so much to my life. I love that I do not need much to spend time with you. All that is required are my sneakers, and even then on the beach I just need my feet.
You give me the opportunity to clear my head, think through my struggles, and have some time to just be with my thoughts. You challenge me with hills and push me to travel far from home. You have shown me beautiful sights and brought me unexpected feathers and sunsets.
The biggest lesson that you have taught me is that I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for and that if I keep showing up day after day I can accomplish what I set out to do. Every run doesn't have to be perfect. All I need to do is show up consistently and put one foot in front of the other. When I do this I become stronger, am able to run further, and accomplish goals I never thought I could accomplish.
The biggest challenge you ever brought me was training for the NYC Marathon. I know you were as surprised as I was when I signed up. It took years for me to get up the courage to say yes but once I did there was no turning back. My parents taught me I must always see things through to the end and so I did. It was during this training that I realized how grateful I am for you and how I am never going to let you go.
Thank you for pushing me to my edge. For giving me hills that made me stronger. For allowing me moments to run terribly slow and never once judging me. It was in those moments that you cheered hard for me and reminded me that what mattered most was that I showed up, especially when I didn't want to.
You have brought me closer to family and friends. Given me the opportunity to share something that meant so much to me. You also inspired other family members to lace up their shoes and give it a try. How divine!
One of my favorite memories with you was on an ordinary run. The air was perfect. It was one of those days where I felt great. I headed out onto one of my normal routes through the country club. As I turned down the street near the lake the most beautiful sunset filled the sky. This stunning site filled my heart with so much joy. Had I not set off to spend that time with you I wouldn't have experienced that moment. It is these simple things that fill my heart with so much joy.
Another incredible moment that we got to spend together was on November 2, 2014. The day I ran the NYC Marathon. That is definitely the best day of my life so far for so many reasons. It was the moment I had been training for. There is only one first time for everything we do and this was that moment for me, I was prepared to be fearless and feel it all. I ran through the city with the biggest smile on my face. It felt like the city was mine. The cheers from the crowd and support from family and friends helped take me through to the finish line.
I remember so clearly the first time I saw my family and friends on the side of the street. I spotted the orange pom pom and my heart lit up. They made it, they were here, and they were cheering for me. It was an incredible feeling. Without them there I am not sure I would have made it to the end.
Because of you dear running I was able to feel and see how proud my parents were of me. There were many times they said it throughout the years but it was in this moment that I could truly feel it deeply. This feeling will live with me forever.
Thank you running for helping me find my way back to myself. For infusing confidence into me. Helping me find my voice. And encouraging me to keep showing up and chase after my dreams. I am grateful for the love you have given me. The support you have shown. The challenges you tested me with and the strength you helped me find in myself.
Our love affair is just beginning and I know our journey together will be long. I look forward to all the time we are going to spend together and what may unfold. Sending you so much love as we continue to find our way together.
Join me in 14 days of love notes and write your very own love note to play. How do you show up in the world and play? What way do you integrate play into your everyday? I will be writing one love letter a day for fourteen days. For it is love that makes the world go round.