Yesterday I was not “one with running” as they say. I got out of work and was dreading it. I’d taken a 5 day hiatus from running during my weekend trip back to the land or corn and pigs (Iowa). So naturally, as I tried to mentally prepare for my run my legs felt like lead and I was less than thrilled about hitting that pavement. As I drove home I had a quick conversation with myself to debate the idea of going or not……..
me: but my legs hurt
motivated me: you have to!
me: well…do I really HAVE to
motivated me: other people are counting on you!
Wait…WHAT did I just say? Other people are counting on me to run MY run?
Yup. Yesterday I had to plug into my accountability partners in crime out there. No, they probably would not outwardly express disappointment over my not running, but just knowing I’m training for this half marathon with someone, and for a 5k the week after with someone, gives me that extra push. Sure I have my own goals and plans for each race, but somehow even just knowing someone else is out there working toward the same race, wanting me to succeed along with them gave me the extra push I needed yesterday. And that’s when it hit me….running is a social sport as well.
I always thought running was a solo experience, and in a lot of ways it is. I run on my own and love the solitude, but in my heart I’m running “with” the other people who are pushing themselves like I am. We can talk about the trials we face and the motivation (or lack of), and without fail every time I see my friends complete a workout, I think–well, now it’s my turn.
Running can be social in other ways too. Yesterday I pushed myself. By the time I stopped I was huffing and puffing and about a mile away from my apartment (I like a walking cool down). I was thinking back on my run and taking out my headphones when this boy appeared out of nowhere: “hey, you running?”
me: “ha I was…I’m pretty dead now”
boy: “yeah looks like it. how far?”
me: “thanks *smile*, and 3 miles”
boy: “WOW. you run everyday? I just play soccer. I practiced because I have a game tomorrow”
me: “I try to most days, and hey I used to play soccer”
boy: “well nice talking to you”……(as he walks towards his house)
me: “good luck in your game!”
I couldn’t help but to smile as I walked off. He wasn’t more than 10 years old and had no idea he just made my day by that little conversation. “WOW”–that’s what he said to my 3 miles, and there I was thinking it was an easy day….life is all about perspective.
As if to affirm all my conclusions about the day, as I continued to walk home I found a brand new 2013 penny lying on the ground. So yes, I picked that penny up and smiled all the way home. Hey, WOW, I ran 3 miles, got some accountability to push me forward, and even earned a penny for my efforts. So that’s my one cent for the day….