Why do I run?
It begs the question: “Why does anyone do anything?” Well, anything outside of work or just everyday life obligations.
I guess I could say that running is an everyday life obligation. Some days it’s the daily dose of anti-depressant. Other days it’s an injection of pure adrenaline and speed while bombing down steep trails. Oh! Sometimes coach says to do a workout, and I trust its for the best, so I just go out there and tear it up. Or get torn up. Same thing.
But there are so many other things in life to pursue! Why running, Robby?
Alright, time to dig deeper.
At 16, my BFF in P-town (thats Plainwell, MI – about as cornfield as you can get in the Mid-West) was sick of the JV tennis squad and I don’t blame him. Playing doubles tennis with that fool was boring AF. Time for a change. Summer break was hitting so Graham asked if I would join the cross-country (XC for short) team with him next fall. We did everything together, so without a real thought process, I said “sure!” And that was it.
I remember my very first prescribed team run. A five mile route in sweaty-ass August, in the humid summer heat of Michigan. Our small town was mostly flat until you went out of the city limits and hit the hilly country roads. We hit a hill and it felt like a mountain. I really don’t know why I came back for the next workout, that shit was hard. I guess I just loved the challenge. I improved to a top-5 runner during my singular season of XC as a senior in HS. The following spring, the track racing season sucked, but I loved the trails of XC from the previous fall, and knew there was something there.
Before my Frosh year of college, Graham was scheming up more running. We both dove balls deep into distance running by signing up for the Detroit Marathon for the upcoming October (2007). My longest training run for Detroit was an hour-30 in a zip-up hoodie. Flash forward to race day. We were scared and then scarred. During the run, I definitely said I would never run another. Looking back, I loved my amateur and cavalier attitude toward running. Just go out and fucking do it. It’s you and the road (or trails) No one else to tell you what to do, to own you. When you put on running clothes, we’re all the same. Just sweaty peeps struggling through it all. Sure, there’s miles of bliss, but when you’re really training and racing, the struggle is real. So is the triumph. Those two things always battling it out inside my body and brain. Struggle v Triumph. You get a little of each of those everyday. Rarely does a hobby give you so much of both.
I could train for 6-months and feel like I’m getting nowhere. To then show up on race day and win… Shit, there is something there. Might as well pursue it.
There’s plenty more to come on this topic and its easy to write about in the context of other race/adventure recaps. For now, I’ll keep getting my daily fix. Win or lose, I still win.
May the miles treat you,