Running is hard.

It’s painful.

It’s slow.

It’s frustrating.

It’s soul sucking.

Every time I lace up my running shoes and head out the door I know that it’s going to hurt. The muscles ache. The ankle aches. The hips ache. The lungs ache. There aren’t many parts of my body that don’t ache when I run. So why do I do it? What drives me on? It’s very clear that it is not helping to transform my body like I had hoped. It isn’t helping me lose weight like I had hoped. So why the hell carry on with something that is so physically uncomfortable?

The answer is very easy. When I run my heart doesn’t hurt. The physical stress on my body shuts down ALL THE FEELINGS. So I run. I run to give myself a few moments of mental and emotional peace. Even if I can only make it 20 minutes before my body begs for respite, for at least those 20 minutes I feel at peace. And when I get home, I feel better. Like I can once again handle anything. Running is the only thing that frees my mind. I can ride my bike for 20 miles. I can swim across the lake and back. I can go for a nice long walk. But none of those things gives me the emotional reprieve that running does.

And so I run!