The Lone Runner
I live to run. I typically run 6 days a week. I get out on the road a couple days a week and hit the treadmill at the local gym for the rest. I always run by myself, enjoying the simple act of running, singing along to the music (accompanied by the occasional Jersey fist pump), observing the world around me and reflecting on my life. I spend my runs thinking about how running makes me feel – strong, accomplished and honestly, kind of sexy.
I’ve always been a Type A, destination-focused person; I never really cared much about the journey. I have always had a plan for life: graduate from undergrad and grad school, get married, get a job, have a baby, work, be rich, and be merry. Easy peasy, right? Not so much. In many ways running is teaching me how to slow down and enjoy life’s little journeys. Training for races encourages me to focus less on race day, but more on the value within each run leading up to the race.
I worked at a full time job as a mental health therapist until my daughter was born in September 2011 and since then I have been- gasp, I’ll say it- a Stay-At Home Mom. While I absolutely love being home with my daughter, I do miss the intellectual stimulation of work.
Honestly, I have a hard time calling myself a Stay-At-Home-Mom. I suppose I’m still having trouble accepting that I’m not working, and I’m not so sure that I’m very good at being a SAHM. I cook dinner -sometimes. I clean the house -err, sort of. I consider the day a success if the kiddo is fed, dressed and smiling. Motherhood is truly everything I thought it would be and more in one sense. But I’m really not overly enthralled with the other household to-dos that consume my life: picking up the dog poop in the yard, cleaning the bathrooms, changing dirty diapers. Sometimes I look up from the Diaper Genie and wonder, “when did my life start revolving around #2?”
Bottom line is that I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I do not know what my next step will be. I might stay home. I might go back to work. I. Don’t. Know.
What I do know is that I love to run. I live to run.
I treat running and fitness as my job. I create goals for myself, challenge myself and have something in my life just for me. When I run different parts of my personality arise- sometimes I’m a young, sexy mom who enjoys seeing the morning commuters’ heads turn in my direction (yea, I still got it), sometimes I am a serious athlete on a mission to tear up the streets and other times I’m just a daughter who reminisces about past runs with her father. The best thing about going out for a run is that I never know where my mind will take me.
I run alone in part due to when I run (any takers on 5:30 am runs?), but mostly because I enjoy feeling free- free of my responsibilities as a wife and mother, free of my worries, simply free. Running is a very personal, emotion-ridden activity, yet few choose to share and explore this side of the sport – until now.
Join me as I reflect on my life through running. I am The Lone Runner. But I am letting you in.