It’s safe to say that the lack of running over the last 6 weeks has left a serious hole in my life. I’d even go as far as saying that I feel like I’ve lost my best friend.
Sure, I’ve successfully replaced the physical aspects, the social aspects, the shear grit, sweat and hard work aspects by essentially moving in to the gym. But it’s not enough. And it’s definitely not the same. It’s taken me a really long time to put my finger on what I’m missing, but I think I finally get it. Running isn’t my friend, it’s my love. Not the crazy, firework kind of love, but the quiet kind. The kind that you crave because it makes you feel both free and tethered to something all at the same time. When I’m running, other parts of my life fall into place. My mind is clearer. I’m a better person. They say that you don’t realise what you had until it’s gone, and what this period of abstinence has shown me, is that I’m truly, madly, deeply in love with running!
Okay, so that I might be being a little dramatic. Just a little mind! It’s not always been this way. I remember at school, I would qualify for the regional cross country championships each year only to then pull out on the day because I hated the thought of running so much. Sorry, Miss Shute!
Going back to the quiet love though, it’s the simple things that I miss the most. Training for races is an addiction, but running is so much more than that. It’s a way of life. I miss running to the bakery to get fresh croissants for breakfast. Passing the time of day with people I don’t know, over a common interest at Parkrun. Most of all, I miss checking in on places along my regular routes to see what’s changed.
The ducklings by the mill on the river will have lost their baby, downy feathers by now. And the trees towards the Forest that will be a vibrant, leafy green. Being lucky enough to watch the world around me evolve makes me feel insignificant, and yet wonderfully significant. It’s as if I’ve been let in on one of life’s most precious secrets. I feel, lucky. Honoured, even. And most wonderfully, totally at peace.
So running, my love, I finally understand. You are so much more than just a number. And if I’ve ever taken you for granted, I’m sorry. I miss you deeply. And I want you to know that I am thankful for every minute we share. My life is richer with you in it, and although I know that we need to work on our trust issues, I want you back. You complete me!