Why I run, then and now.

I started running when I was eight years old. The year before that, I was the slowest in my class (also the youngest and therefore subject to the ‘Matthew effect’ as explained by Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers). It was a simple pleasure, easily achievable and always available. I was hooked and soon felt incomplete without the daily endorphine kick. Then came the intoxication of winning! To be the fastest was a new and exhilirating sensation, but it completely tainted the purity of simple pleasure. O dear and then my heart was broken and running became the compensation. With nothing to hold me back, I ran myself into a double stress fracture before age thirteen!

Now, thirty years on, I run again… slower. The injury lingers, maybe because I was so young and it became part of my fibre. At least now I have a little bit more patience and instead of pushing my body to do what I NEED, I’m learning to listen to what it needs, to then be rewarded by the pleasure of running freedom!

In leg ache, backache, heartache… the key is to listen, carefully. Now that I don’t try to ignore the aches of life, but listen and tend to what is needed, the aches don’t expand and rule until all is pretense with sadness and disappointment under the surface.

With enough time to rest or stretch or strengthen (I’ve discovered that Yoga is great for all three), the running never has to stop.

Before the day begins, or whenever I can

Whenever I can
before the day begins,
I do this thing
to give thanks for who I am.

It takes me out
I hear birds sing
and waves break on the beach.

Come sunshine or rain
summer or winter,
it makes my heart swell
and my head spin with pleasure.

Whether I run fast or slow
far or near,
I run with gratitude.

The running to me
as singing to the birds
and breaking to the waves.

As I run it is
the soaring of my spirit
and the pounding of my feet
that add to the symphony of praise
to the Creator of all things. 


Is there anything you love doing, that makes you feel more alive?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. dansmartwebdev says:

    Thank you! I was unaware that you were the author of this but Rach showed me it just as I had got my running stuff out for the morning, and I feel so blessed and encouraged to run and thank Him for being alive and worship Him with running. I love the poem and the heart behind it!


    1. keysinyourhand says:

      Thank you Dan! Enjoy your running. 🏃


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