I have read and listened to various stories about how running saved someone’s life – from obesity, from addiction, from lots of things. I don’t feel like I can be so grand as to say that running saved my life, but it certainly has changed it dramatically.
Running has given me so very much. It has enriched my life in ways that I never would have thought possible. It’s such a simple thing, really, to run, and to have so much value come from it is pretty astounding. So, I am thankful for the run. I am thankful for the runs that exhilarate me, as well as the runs that exhaust me. I am thankful for the runs that challenge me and the runs that feel easy; for the runs that give me new personal records (distance, speed) and the runs that feel like the same old thing.
I am thankful for runners. I am thankful for runners that smile at me as we cross paths and for those who ignore me, intense in their own rhythm. I am thankful for the runners at my local running stores who give me sage advice and for runners who blog so that I can learn from their wisdom, no matter how far away they may be; for runners who I see when I’m in my car because they get me excited to go out myself later in the day and for the runners that I passed and passed me in my races this year, spurring me on with healthy competition.
I am thankful for those that support my habit, even if they may not quite understand it. To those in my life that cheer with me when I add another half a mile to my long weekend runs and to those who leave encouraging posts for me here on this blog. I am thankful to the volunteers who helped keep my fueled during and after my first half-marathon and to the strangers along the way who lifted my spirits with encouraging shouts and signs.
I am thankful that I have discovered an activity that feeds my introverted nature and need for solitude, while still connecting me with a vast network of community and support. I am thankful that I have reached new levels of health and fitness – places where I never imagined I could be.
And, I am thankful for myself. For having the courage to try things I once thought were impossible and for believing that I can continue to do it – every single day.
So, fellow runners, those who support runners, volunteers, and the like, you have my utmost gratitude and respect. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to you all!