Running has always been a natural tendency of mine. Not in the lace up your shoes and pound the pavement kind of way, but from circumstances and situations. It’s instinctive, really. I was created with a small dose of fight, and an excessive amount of flight!
After years of hindsight, I figured out that fear and doubt were my ongoing antagonists. I handed over the leading role of my life to these liars. I acquiesced I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough, or good enough. Shrinking back and lacing up became my comfortably uncomfortable existence.
Being a runner didn’t make me stronger or worthy of any medals. It made me lonely. In a crowded school, I felt lonely. In a crowded room, I felt alone. In my relationships, I felt unseen. Remember the scene in Forrest Gump when he was running for so long his hair has grown shaggy? That. I wouldn’t stop long enough to tell anyone why I was running, where I was headed, or what I was running from.
We were made for connection. Running cultivates disconnection. Disconnection breeds lonely existences. Relationships are the antithesis of lonely. I became a runner because I was afraid of broken relationships, their implications about my identity, and the demand future ones might have. Running didn’t insulate me from feeling less than. Running didn’t make me stronger, it revealed my weaknesses.
I still tend to lace up my shoes in high pressure situations. I battle the feeling that I don’t quite have what it takes to accomplish what’s in front of me. These days, instead of marathon running, I am doing sprints. I [sometimes] dart away from relationships and scary situations, but there’s less distance between take off and return.
Fear is a liar. Doubt is two-faced. Don’t let these fools guide your journey. If they invite you for a run, decline the offer. The appeal will be great, but the consequences are greater. Training to keep your feet planted is as difficult as learning how to continue running after you’ve hit the wall. Either way, work is required.
If a friend invites you to coffee, accept that offer. Build community with a safe circle, tell them about your running habit, and invite them to love you through the miles. Hard, scary situations will come. Lonely will come calling at the oddest times. Avoid the urge to shrink back or lace up. Grab the hand of a loved one, put one foot in front of the other, and walk toward big and scary. I’m cheering you on, friend.
#MomentofTruthMonday #RunningHabits #Connection #LifeLessons