Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Run fast, or your family won't love you!"

At my last half marathon, one of the directors got on to the bus that brought us to the start. He left us with a few final instructions and one motivational message: "And remember, run fast or your family won't love you!" While I feel no pressure from my family to run fast, it does bring up a thought on the subject--reasons why I run. My family is one big reason.

I started running with my sisters at the Desert Classic Marathon in Arizona. But now I mainly run with my daughters. I still love to get together for fun events like "halfies" with my mom, sisters, nieces, etc., there's nothing like the whole family participating in something like that. But on a smaller level, I really enjoy the quiet daily opportunity to think about my life, my community, my kids. Sometimes I just soak in the nature and beauty of the canyon, sometimes I pray, and sometimes I just enjoy the moment without any conscious thought at all. Undistracted by phones, TV, and doorbells, the fresh outdoor air and the rhythm of my feet together, seem to create a duet that centers, focuses, and strengthens me enough to make it through daily work, family busy-ness, and random nonsense. My family got me into running, and my family will keep me running.

Yesterday, in fact, Dave drove me to the top of Sundance Canyon to prepare for my next half marathon which starts with an incredibly steep downhill run of 5 miles. After he dropped me off, a while later he and Benny passed me as they drove back down. It was so fun to hear them cheer together for me, even though it was just a training run. Running brings out the best in the runner, but often it brings out the best in others as well. The spectators at marathons and half marathons are full of the same kind of energy the runners are. Their signs and noisemakers and yells are so fun and very often inspiring. The number of volunteers at the stations is fantastic and the crowd at the end is unlike any other crowd. Almost every one of those supporters is there for someone they know and love... family, for the most part, or friends that are close enough to be... because they love them.

So, I might take the thought "Run fast, or your family won't love you!" and turn it around a little. LOVE FAST, OR YOUR FAMILY WON'T RUN YOU!

Putting one foot in front of the other,


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