“I have come to believe that coming true is not the only purpose of a dream. Its most important purpose is to get us in touch with where dreams come from, where passion comes from, where happiness comes from.” — Lisa Bu
Over coffee last week, my running coach and I redefined my relationship with running. We chose a new lense for my view of my training plan. I want to run. I need to run. I love to run. But every time I have put on my running shoes lately, I wonder if my run will be a success. I cross my fingers and hope that it turns out to be a good run. Every time I put on my running shoes lately, I feel a little broken.
For the past two years, I have used running to repair the broken things in my life. After having Chet, I used running as a way to reclaim my identity. After I went back to a job I didn’t love, I used running as a way to fix a long work day. After my father-in-law and my aunt passed away, I used running to heal my broken heart. When marriage hits a rough spot, I use running to heal my frustration. When the boys become too much, I use running to fix my sanity. Running has always fixed my broken spots.
As my life heals itself, running has become the broken piece. It’s time to heal my relationship with running.
The only way to heal what is broken is to highlight and enhance all the aspects that I love.
Last Thursday, my first run back after my stitches were removed, I joined two friends near and dear to my heart for an evening boardwalk run. We ran our favorite route – over the Rudee Inlet bridge straight into the crowd of tourists on the boardwalk. When our feet hit the boardwalk, it felt like the start of summer. We haven’t done this in two years! Three miles into the run, we made a happy hour pit stop for orange crushes and lots of girl talk. The run back to the car was filled with laughter and happiness.
On Sunday, I headed out for my long run. I headed to my favorite running route. I left my garmin at home. I just ran. I ran the Cape Henry Trail into our State Park to some of my favorite back trails. It’s been a while since my running shoes had real trails underneath them. I ran up and down sand dunes. I ran alongside water. I skipped over tree roots. I don’t know how far I ran or how fast, but when my feet finally hit pavement again I felt like I was flying.
As I ran down the trails, trails that have held so many of my tears and so much of my laughter, I felt myself picking up all the pieces I had left scattered over the years. I ran these trails, the day the world said goodbye to my aunt. In the middle of a winter storm advisor, I found my refuge in the tree-lined path. On these trails, I spent an entire summer running with my friend Heidi as we both tried to figure out how to be new moms again. Every time I ran with a broken heart down these trails, I left some of myself behind. Every time I ran filled with hope, I left some of myself behind.
Sunday’s run was a declaration. Sunday’s run put an end to broken running. Sunday’s run reclaimed my favorite place.
There was no stop button to hit when I got back to my car so the run continued. My heart was filled to the brim, and it followed me home.
Last week’s run and all my runs going forward need to be a reflection of my life right now. I’m bring my heart, my whole heart, back to my running. Life is constantly changing. There will be more phases of heart ache, but right now, my whole heart needs a chance to shine. My whole heart needs a chance to run.
6 thoughts on “Whole Hearted.”
This post is so beautifully written. I started running (like really running) when I started dating a guy a few years ago. Running became “our thing” to do together and it was one of my favorite “date” activities. When we split it was difficult for me to find my own running path, and I had to rebuild my relationship with running too. It wasn’t easy, and I have moments where I think about what running used to mean to me, but that’s the beauty of life. Always changing..always moving forward. Just like a run.
YES! I think I forgot that along the way. I counted on running to be a constant in my life. I forgot it is supposed to change. It is supposed to move forward. Thank you for the reminder.
So beautiful! I can relate so much with going to running to fix everything. That is exactly what I do, too. I’m so happy you are back running!!
Thank you! I hope I see you on the trail soon.
I’m so happy that you are back to truly enjoying running and the moments along the way. It’s easy to lose sight of that when running becomes training.
You are so right. It is so easy to get stuck in a training plan instead of organically enjoying the process of training for a race. Such a balance…one I struggle to master.