The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
– Alan Watts
I’m this touchy, unsure place with my running today, which is probably not the best way to begin a blog titled, “seetherun”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a runner who loves running, and this blog will center around (spoiler alert) my RUNNING journey. While I have a plethora of hobbies, and interests, my personal life centers around fitting in the running. My last three jobs have been at specialty running stores. I place in races when I run them. I run places instead of driving to them. I run when I have to kill time. I run when I have no time to run.
As Sister Mary Clarence told Rita in Sister Act 2,”If you wake up in the morning, and you can’t think anything but singing, then you should be a singer, girl”. Insert “running” and “runner” respectively, and you have a description of who I am, and who the people I respond to most, are. When I run, I feel free from the world and in tune with it at the same time. I take off, and I feel my right size, that my soul fits my body.
The way I remember it, I always felt like a natural runner, since the time I was old enough to play outside. That was when running wasn’t a talent; it was playtime, or a way to get from here to there. Until recently, running seemed like a crucial part of my persona. How I thought of myself, and in turn, how people related to me came down to the very large detail that I ran. All. The. Time. At this stage in my life I had finally settled on an identity, however nuanced it may be. “You’re that runner…” was a lead comment from non-runners I’d grown used to and proud of receiving. Being part of the running community in Los Angeles allowed me to be quirky but part of a society.
Let me get to the point of all this lead in: At some point, my motivation to run started coming from a perceived external pressure to fit in, and to stand out. I started posting on Instagram, and suddenly my run wasn’t about what it felt like, it was about what it looked like. A “must win” attitude manifested inside my brain, which would be a good thing if I was running a race, but I was reaching for a filled heart. My heart was definitely not in the game, and here’s the game as I saw it: Go on the best runs. Run the fastest. Run the farthest. Run the coolest. Be the MOST runner.I blame no one but myself. I can’t possibly know the objectives and purpose behind others’ posts, but I’ll be the first to admit that so many of my posts are way too carefully staged. Insta-nothing. All way too thought out for maximum number of likes. My running community is inspiring to me, and I want to contribute my experiences and thoughts, but I also want to be authentic. I’ve let social media get to me, instead of getting to it. There’s another element, too.
When I was a little girl, I wandered away from my mother in a mall. She frantically searched for me, and found me sitting on a bench talking to an elderly man. I was promptly put on one of those wrist leashes kids had in the 80’s. I was fine with that. Then when I was in elementary school, it was the bike. I was all about my bike. I was always asking for permission to go further and further on it. I liked to ride down new streets and find different ways to go from A to B. When I got my driver’s license, I was teased by my parents that I probably shouldn’t have that kind of freedom, that I would drive down every unknown street, exploring, and never make it home. When I finally got my passport at age 19 I felt the similar feeling that I get while running- HOME. I own my wanderlust, it is only rivaled by my love of running. I’ve been putting off traveling the past few years to focus on other aspects of life, but I feel the time has come to take off on a new journey. By spring of 2016 I plan to be on a trip that will bring me home. At this point the trip is only a gleam in my eye, I just know I want to see the world at MY own pace, taking everything in stride.