Well it is a major part or how I spend my individual free time, but I want to publicly state that
I am not a runner.
I run. I love to run. But I am not a runner. I am so much more than that. It's a hobby, a passion, an interest, an indulgence, but running does not define who I am. I've known people before, that let running (or some other sport or activity) define them. My life is not fulfilled only if I am running; setting new PR's, logging a certain number of miles, going a certain speed, beating certain people, getting a BQ (Boston Qualifying Time) etc. etc. I am not left forlorn and empty if people don't praise or acknowledge my running accomplishments. I don't rely on my running accomplishments to fuel my mood, or my opinions about myself.
Yes, I think everyone should run, but not because I think it will make them a more worthwhile person or in some way increase their individual worth. I just think that a person can learn immense amounts about themselves and life while running; and the parallels of running and life are endless. But, I get that not everyone likes it and it's not for everyone.....but I still think everyone should do it! Even just a little. A mile or two a few times a week? It can work wonders on the soul! But, I digress....
Running is a huge part of my life (some people in my life who don't understand running would say I'm obsessed - Why do people who don't run think that all runners are crazy or obsessed? I don't get it - But perhaps that is a different post altogether).
As I was saying, running is a part of my life (yes a big part), but it is not who I am. However, it IS something that has taught me about myself and helped me grow mentally. It has pushed my limits and made me stronger. Running is something that has given me more than normal amounts of serious introspection time, and contributed to my well-being. It has helped develop my character, tested and proved my work ethic, my dedication, my will, my resiliency. It brings peace to my life. It brings pain as well - but the pain brings appreciation and growth. It's principles can be applied and compared to other parts of my life, which help bring understanding to other things in my life as well. Yes, I am aware that running isn't the only activity in existence that can bring this to a person, but it has been a very effective source in my life, and I think it can be fore most people. In a nutshell, running is the conduit that helps me discover who I am.
And though I absolutely LOVE running, if I wasn't able to run ever again I would be ok.
Running was taken away form me once before in my life and I survived. If it were ever taken away from me again my life would go on, I would be ok, and I would still be me - because it is not who I am.
I think that there are people who think that all I do is run and that it is who I am and there isn't much more to me. I guess I just wanted to express the point that though it contributes a lot to my life, trust me; I am so much more than a runner.
Having got that off my chest....anyone wanna go for a run?