This I Believe

Nancy - Thornton, Colorado
Entered on January 20, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: sports

I believe in being a runner.

Running has taught me just how deep I can dig inside myself to get through a difficult situation. A person’s true character shows in times of adversity. What I’ve learned in my years of running is that I have a depth of character that will get me through difficult situations.

Running is my time to invest in myself. It is a time when no one can interrupt me. I am free to think about whatever I want to. If I have a particularly stressful day of work ahead of me, I can mentally prepare myself during my run and manage any nervous energy I may have. If I have been under stress, running provides a way to relieve that stress.

While running I can hear a Great Horned Owl hoot before the sun comes up, watch a fox hunting for its breakfast, listen to the birds wake up and start their morning chatter, or watch the sunrise. In the winter, I can be the first one to put footprints in the freshly fallen snow, or stare at the snowcapped mountains and truly understand the meaning of “purple mountains majesty.” In January and February, I can watch the bald eagles perched in the trees along my favorite trail. Experiencing those “nature moments” brings me a sense of inner peace that puts things in perspective and prepares me for whatever life may throw my way.

I often run with my Golden Retriever, Sophie. She reminds me of the pure joy I should feel while running. She doesn’t care how fast or slow we are running, just that we are going someplace together.

Running has given me a diverse group of friends. Runners do not care how much money you make, what kind of car you drive or how large your house is. Runners care about sharing their love and passion for the sport with others. I never tire of seeing the excitement when someone becomes a runner, finding joy in testing their limits and becoming a part of the running community.

There are very few sports where competitors help each other with their training, but runners do. If I cross the finish line ahead of another runner, they are often the first to congratulate me on a good race. If there is a charity that needs support, runners will be there to run and raise money.

It’s easy to say I don’t have time to run. The question really is how can I not have time to run? I only get one chance at this life, and I want to spend my time on this earth truly learning what I have inside of me and sharing that time with others who have the same passion. Sound body, sound mind, a sound life.