Monday, March 14, 2005

I Saw Myself Today

Today, lacking motivation to do anything besides an impression of poured concrete, I forced myself to bike, run and lift. The biking was rather simple. You sit and pedal. I am able to squeeze it in around different tasks in my daily routine.

After the nice weekend we had in the Atlanta area, today's weather was not very motivating to get me out the door for a run. I did the next best thing, gathered my gear, and headed for the gym. I thought that at least there would be others there and that would keep me pushing ahead. Yet as I run, I often find myself questioning why. What am I getting out of this? I never really have an answer, other than knowing that I can add a few miles into one of my many running logs, and then look at it from a multitude of angles. For instance, today's run gave me 80 miles for the month of March. More than three of the last four months of my running. For what that is worth.

But it still never answers the question of why.

Then, driving by North Springs High School I saw the answer. For I saw myself. Around 30 or so kids from the school were running up the sidewalk, stretched out over a half mile. I saw myself there at the end, one of the kids at the end of the line, already walking,with his hands on his hips. He was not overweight. He was skinny, just as I was. And he was already walking. And I remembered how it felt to be that kid at the end. The kid already walking.

Oh, it was easily justified for me why I would be walking by that point way back there in 1978 or 1979. I had asthma. I had been through two bouts of pneumonia to the point I did not want to fight it any longer. And it came back to me why I ever started running in the first place. To prove to myself that I could. Not for anyone else but me.

I have to prove to myself that I can do it just about every time I go out to run. Eleven marathons is not proof enough for me. Nearly 9,000 miles(I know because of my running fact I can even estimate I will do it before my 43rd birthday) and yet I have to prove to myself that I can do it today. And that I am no longer the kid in the back, who does not think he has it in him to run with the rest of the kids.

Today, I am no longer last. I am rarely the first to quit, and I know I have the heart to do what it takes. I just have to prove it to myself daily. And that is why I run. Pure and simple.

And the person I am today, the one I really saw, is far removed from the last kid in the group. Yet he is still a part of me. That makes me want to run tomorrow and be even stronger. And I will.



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