I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself lately why I’m running or why I’m focused on another race or why don’t I just do something else.
I think it’s a natural stage of running, and it’s one I haven’t been through in a while. I think my previous post really hinted at changes that I’m making.
As I creep closer to 1,000 blog posts since 2007, as well as nearing my 10th anniversary of the day I started running (Jan. 1, 2004), I’ve been reflecting on old blog posts. Some of it is figuring out what I want to do next; some of it is just fun to see where I’ve been.
In between the endless posts about training for specific races, being ecstatic about PRs and many other random thoughts, I occasionally have these moments that are obvious breakthroughs that keep me going.
I think I’m in the midst of one of the moments.
Today I read a post from October 2007 titled “Why I keep going.” I don’t know why I stopped on that post to read it all the way through, but I did. Today is also the 8th anniversary of my Uncle John’s death, who died after a courageous battle with lung and brain cancer. Maybe he had something to do with my mind stopping and focusing on that post.
My Uncle John was such a great guy. When I first started running I thought a lot about him a lot. I thought about him throughout my first marathon experience, knowing that he would have thought that was the craziest thing to do, but still would have been one of the most supportive people out there. He gladly would have had a beer with me at the finish line.
With every Relay for Life that I’ve done, I feel like I have conversations with him, giving me some advice about life along the way.
Since that original post there have, of course, been a lot of other life changes. My grandfather that I wrote about in that post has since passed away; my father, while cancer free, continues to have to worry about cancer returning as he still gets a PET scan every year.
There are so many other joys in running that have come up since then — I now can have my son run alongside me when he chooses; my sister is training for the Shamrock Half Marathon; my wife did her first 5k last year.
We’re not out there running for ourselves. We don’t necessarily run “because we can,” like my blog says.
I run for my health; I run to bring awareness to diseases such as cancer; I run to have conversations with people who are no longer with us; I run to enjoy things in life such as sunrises or the peacefulness of snow.
I don’t run because I want to set PRs for the rest of my life; I don’t run because I think I’m cooler than someone else; I don’t run because I want to run on the streets of Boston one day.
Sometimes I run for others; sometimes I run to be selfish.
I run to build memories with Duke; I run because I want my son to grow up and live a healthier life than me; I run because it keeps the stress away; I run because I know when I don’t that I start to drive my wife a little crazy; I run so that I can find new places for my family to enjoy mini-vacations in places we probably wouldn’t normally travel.
Running isn’t a “thing” I like to do on the side; running is a part of who I am and, yes, helps define and shape my personality.
I’ll never apologize for going for a run or talking about running. I won’t apologize for a post like this that’s more than 500 words, nor will I apologize if I don’t go into details about what’s going on with my running life.
So … why do I keep going?
Because I have absolutely no reason to stop.
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