I think it’s time we had a heart-to-heart.
We met a little more than three years ago: I wanted to get healthy, lose weight and impress a guy; you wanted to challenge me.
We weren’t supposed to get along so well—me, the overweight, asthmatic girl with short legs and misaligned hips, and you, the naturally athletic guy with long legs and six-pack abs. But we did. And we make a damn fine pair, don’t we?
I have to thank you, running, for so much.
You helped me get healthy and lose weight. You helped me conquer my asthma. You helped me get into other sports like hip-hop dancing, tennis and yoga. (I might have a fling with them from time to time, but I always come back to you. You know you’re my No. 1.)
You helped me impress that guy. (He even proposed to me at the finish line of a 5K! Remember?)
You helped me meet some really cool people, who now are dear friends.
You get me outside in blistering heat and in freezing cold, in rain and snow and wind. You allow me to immerse myself in my surroundings—to feel butterflies dance on my skin, to see the river rush over the dam, to taste the dewy freshness of a spring morning. You give me opportunities to spend time with the dog.
You helped me find my strong. You make me feel tough as nails. You give me a rush of confidence unmatched by just about everything else.
Because of you, I participate in races of all distances—pounding the pavement alongside thousands of other people like me, crossing the finish line and taking home cool swag.
Because of you, I have one drawer dedicated to specialized gear and another dedicated to race T-shirts.
Because of you, I get to hear my husband tell me, ‘You’re so beautiful!’ even in the midst of a run—sweat dripping down my brow, salt caked to my eyelids, spit stuck in the corner of my mouth.
Because of you, I get to see the looks on people’s faces when they find out I’m a runner; sometimes, they look at me like I’m crazy, but other times, they look at me with a hell of a lot of respect—especially those who are runners, too. I love telling them my story.
Because of you, I feel like I can do anything.
So, running, there you have it. I love you. You and I have been through a lot together. And we’re about to take on something incredible, magical, unforgettable… We can do it. I know we can. Because we have each other. And what more do we really need?
See you Saturday!
P.S. We were a perfect pair today, running: I busted out 8 miles in 79 minutes. I ran 8 consecutive miles at a sub-10-minute-mile pace. I ran hard and fast.
You had better be ready for me Saturday. I’m brining my A game.