I'll stop running when it stops being fun. Today I ran on snow and ice, again. And I loved it. I was soaring down the highway like a character in a movie, beaming with joy. I turned on back roads covered only with ice because I could, because my ice grippers made running on ice just as easy. Coming up around a bend of solid ice, I glowed with joy. For these five miles, all that mattered was the run.
Some call me determined; some say I am committed; some say I am crazy. The truth is, I love it and it's not hard to do what you love. When I taught school I learned quickly that the best teachers were the ones who loved it. Good teachers know that retirement should not come at a certain age but when the love of teaching is over. So it is with running.
Every run is not wonderful. Some days they whole thing is miserable. Just like when you teach 8th grade and parents yell at you and kids fail tests and talk back and your assignment bombs. But you don't call in sick the next day. Because you love it. Even though the day was bad and the parent was wrong and the kid was a brat, you love the school, the feel of the place, the excitement of the buses coming in and the middle school fashions. You love the kids, even when they are toots. And so you keep coming to work and most days are worth all the work you put into it.
Today as I ran, I thought about that. Not all runners enjoy running uphill on a sheet of ice. I felt like the most powerful person alive. Because I love the run. I love what it is and what it does and that even on bad days it makes the good days better.
|Taken mid-run today|
Am I determined? Am I committed? Am I faithful? Yep. I am. But the truth underlying it all is that I am in love with the run. The reason I plan my life around my runs isn't because I am obsessed; it's because I am in love.
|Open highway today|
|Winter sky caught mid-run (and filtered for dramatic effect)|
|My happy place|