“what does running mean to you?” I was recently asked this question and at first, I froze. I had no idea where to begin. How do I communicate something that does so much for me on so many levels? How do I do it justice with my voice, my words?
I stared at the question. I thought maybe if I stare at it long enough some cool, elegant, classic meaning would roll off my fingertips. I kept staring but nothing was coming. All I envisioned was a blank, bright, glaring white screen staring back at me. I was offended. So, I do what I do when I’m having writers’ block – I laced up my sneaks and went for a run.
Before I even started down the road I could feel the tension in my neck and it felt like my shoulders were dangling from my earlobes like a pair of heavy steel earrings. Why was this question adding so much weight to my body – to my mind? I decided then and there that I was going for a casual run – no pressure. I said to myself, “I’m going to do what I love and if it comes to me it comes if not, no worries.”
As I eased into the first mile, I could feel my shoulders getting lose and my neck relaxing. At mile 2 the tension in my head subsided and that small sign of a headache disappeared. My heart began to beat in cadence with my feet and I could feel the blood pumping through my body like a well-oiled machine. At mile four I hit my stride and actually had forgotten about the question – LOL!
Coming up on my last mile, mile five, it hit me. The phrases and words I would describe to use in my answer starting flowing out of me. It was kind of like when you turn on the shower in the morning and it’s ice cold and you just stand there waiting for the warm water and then all of a sudden it’s like an active volcano pumping out blistering liquid with big, puffy white steam clouds filling the room. “What does running mean to me?” Here is an excerpt:
Running makes me feel free and powerful all at the same time. It takes me to another place and clears my mind of all the garbage this world often dumps on us. Running makes me come alive! It makes me more creative and I generate the best ideas while I’m running. It’s my think tank. Running reminds me that I am way more capable than I ever thought possible and gives me a good dose of strength and courage when I need it most. It makes me have the utmost appreciation for my body and all its parts. It gives me life and inspires me to make the most of it each and every day. Running gives me the guts and the glory.
Now it’s your turn. Negative or positive. Tell me, what does it mean to you?