Someone asked me the other day why I started running. My answer, because I wanted to accomplish something before I turned 25. I wanted a goal. Sound familiar? This has been my answer for the last 10 years! I started running because I wanted to challenge myself. Accomplish a goal before a quarter of a century milestone.
Then she said something that rocked my work. She said, ok but dig deeper. Why did you really start running?
I said, well I started running in 2009 when I saw an ad for the Princess half marathon. I love Disney, and tiara, this was a great goal! It was SMART!
Again, she said, right but why did you start running?
Well, I graduated in 2007 in a theatre job and I was happy. I had started a new job at a new theatre in 2008 and then the recession hit and theatre wasn’t a priority and neither was my position. I had to take a job as a temp in an office. I went from feeling fulfilled and successful to feeling lost and out of control. Running gave me purpose. It gave me a reason it get up in the morning. It gave me a goal to strive for. I could set my own goals and make my own accomplishments.
She said, so running gave you power, control, and fulfillment. So running is just a tool to make you feel powerful. [insert mouth drop here]
I had no words. I just stared at the screen stunned. Was running really just a tool? Was this what a runner high really was?
Then she asked me, so why did you keep running?
I knew this was not a surface question anymore. I had to dig deeper. After a long pause, I said, I found a community. I found support. I found friends. I found purpose.
Now, 10 years after I ran my first race. 10 years after I became an official “runner” it is finding a new purpose for me. I saw twinkles of this drive when I worked at Ironman and was helping women complete their first triathlons at the Iron Girl races. I have the opportunity to empower more runners to feel this way also. To tap into that deeper feeling that running can give back to them. To tap into that empowerment that running can give me again!
What has running given to you?