I started my love affair with running in 2007. Really, it began as a hate affair, a bad date that would drone on and on, never ending, pass the wine! Eventually, we got to know each other, saw past each other’s flaws and shortcomings, found the pureness of longstanding commitment that blossoms into mature love. The best kind. Not written in Harlequins. Instead, etched over years of ups and downs, trials, tribulations, the worst of disappointments and the greatest of adventures. Running has made my life better beyond measure. That’s a statement. How many things can we say do that?
With running has come the run community, a love affair of a different kind. Infatuation, excitement, high fives, hugs, celebrations. Like the perfect date with the most charming person. Compliments and attention, stop you’re making me blush, go on. As a social person, finding other runners was like winning the lottery. I get to run and meet people? Heaven. Or, rather, infatuation.
As is the case with young love, the charm fades, the makeup smears, lists are made, tiffs are had. How dare he, how dare she. We show up for runs with flaws untucked and misunderstandings rubbing like stubble on our faces. Where did the magic go? Why don’t you talk to me anymore? We used to be so close!
Still, running remains. It is a steadfast reminder that infatuated connections inevitably wane and that true connection is grown from effort. Running shows me that I am capable of something that goes beyond my feelings. I run when I’m weary or grouchy because I know… believe…hope that I won’t regret it. I show the run good will. In return, the run gives good will back to me. It rewards me for my sincerity. No, run, I really don’t want to show up today but I’m here. My transparency makes room for anything to happen, no players, no hidden agenda. Sometimes, it’s good. Always, it’s worth it. “Okay”, says the run, “I can work with that.” It’s enough. In law, we call it showing up with ‘clean hands’. In life, we call it ‘good will’. Good will toward the run. Good will toward all men.