I am not a subscriber to “Runners World” magazine. I do not have the latest or most expensive running attire. I do not run in marathons. I did not run track in high school, but I am a runner. Running is what I believe.
Warm summer mornings are especially gratifying. I wake up to birds chirping as the sun is still rising and climb out of bed with ease. As I pull my hair back out of my face with a hair tie, the adrenaline begins to rush through my body. I open my drawer to carefully choose which shorts and socks I’ll wear, even though most of my socks and shorts are duplicates of others. Then, I pull an old tee shirt over my head and take my running shoes from my closet. Lacing up my white and red asic tennis shoes, I can feel my heart racing. As I walk out of the house as quiet as possible in order not to wake any of my family members, I power on my ipod and drown out all other sounds of the world with the quick repetitive beats of techno music. With my music blaring into my eardrums, my mind becomes focused on each stride. The mist in the air brushes across my face as I glide over the pavement. Not planning my daily route, I let my feet guide me about the little town of Cambridge. Running throughout my hometown, I see very few, if not any, other runners. Every once in a while I pass by people wandering the streets with a cigarette pinched between their lips and I begin to push myself to run faster. The smokers of Cambridge serve as inspiration to me because I know that I am taking steps to keep myself healthy and I feel proud to not be one amongst them. It seems that Cambridge simply isn’t a breeding ground for runners.
When I run through this beautiful hilly Appalachian area, my mind wanders away from my body. My thoughts shoot in a million different directions as I think about negligible things, such as how the cement beneath my feet is made, to ideas that give me headaches pondering like when the world will come to an end. I am in my own world when I run and I know that no one can break into it as long as my ear phones are still pulsing with techno or soft rock music and my feet are still striding across the pavement.
Running helps me to rid of stress, for when I run it is as if I leave my problems where I started. My thoughts of my grandma’s battle with cancer to the bickering fights with my previous boyfriend were swept away with the wind as I cut through the air. In addition to reducing stress and whipping my body into shape, running provides a place for me to be me. No other activity allows me to be in complete control. When I run I am in charge, and no one can overpower that. I decide where I run, the pace I run at, and the ideas that will filter through my head. I will never stop running, for life is a race itself and running is the only way I can keep up.
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