Why Do I Run??


"... often what is beautiful to be done in running is ugly to be done in wrestling..."


    "What are you running from?" I've been asked that before. I used to be asked a lot. Of course, I was asked a lot when I ran a lot. I don't run as much anymore so I haven't heard the question in a while. It was an interesting question, to say the least. Instead of asking why did I run, in general, the question was of the aforementioned variety. That is a question that I will attempt to answer another time. 

    Today's question is, "Why Do I Run??" Perhaps it could be phrased "why does one run?" I guess the reason I chose the singular, first-person, pronoun is because that question feels existential. It is also, for many runners I imagine, almost a religious type of question. That said, religious questions can oftentimes be answered in this sort of communal way by some sort of clergy or other manor of expert. There exists zero experts that would be able to walk you through why "I" run.

    First and foremost, my favorite answer in most things is a simple, "none of your business." Perhaps that's a little harsh but, is it?; your business, that is. I am not accustomed to answering questions about things that carry such a prominent place in my heart. Would one ask, "why do you love your wife and kids?" Aside from there being literally thousands of reasons why I love my wife, my son, and my daughter, why would I want to tell everyone? The saying, "... I want to shout it from the mountaintops..." isn't the same as shouting why from the mountaintops. In reality, I do, love my wife and kids... full stop.

    So yes, I run, full stop. But is it? Is it that simple? Can I just title a post, "Why Do I Run??" and not give some sort of answer? I do have a response. It is more like an elevator pitch of sorts. I love to tell people, " I run because my door opens and I have the ability to put one foot in front of the other". I use that answer when I want to be cheeky or cagey, or both. It is my version of that famous quote, from my favorite mathematician and philosopher, Renee Descartes, "I think, therefore, I am". I run because I can. Do you see what I did there? I didn't mean to do that. In fact, I just thought of it. I wasn't looking to be cute. In fact, the thought of "trying to be cute" stinks of something rancid and rotten.

    When I was  asked, "what are you running from?" I had never thought of it that way. I used to get questions like, "why do you run so much?", when I ran too much but the idea of running from something haunted my thoughts. Was I running from something, or to something? My other favorite response to questions of that nature is to call it free therapy. I enjoy when I can simplify things and turn an odyssey into a cartoon. It tickles me. But it is, free therapy. I can go for a run and forget all that is wrong. I can forget all that is right. The only thing that I need to concern myself with is how to get from here, to there, and back... alive.


Popular posts from this blog

The Ever Elusive, BQ