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Six Words

August 7, 2008
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Take It and Run Thursday’s challenge at Runners’ Lounge is a six-word running memoir. Some bloggers have taken the opportunity to write several memoirs, memorializing different stages in their running lives. I remember, in younger years, being a good sprinter, and perhaps I could have taken that tack. Other bloggers wrote memoirs tied to specific races, and though I am a rookie at distance races, I could definitely have written specific six-word memories for each of the races I’ve run in the last eighteen months, and I might do that another time.

Today, though, I wanted to try to encapsulate what running means to me. On one level, I definitely use running to control my weight. Having lost seventy pounds, I know there’s part of me that fears a return to the pre-running size 16 days. I know even if an injury occurred and I had to stay off the roads I’d use portion control to remain a single-digit size, but the mind is a mine field.

Running is also my solitude. A stay-at-home mom to two preschoolers has precious few moments to be alone, and this will be true even when the oldest starts pre-k (yipes!) in two weeks. But, when I’m running, I’ve got at least five to seven hours every week that no one’s talking to me. And you want to know why I don’t run with an ipod? Silence, baby, is golden.

But running is more than that to me. It’s a way to be the best that I can be. It’s a way to push myself, to be disciplined. When I am disciplined about running, it spills into other areas of my life. When I pursue excellence here, it reminds me to pursue excellence everywhere else. As Paul discovered, racing is a great metaphor for life. We don’t all have to compete, in running or in life, with anyone but ourselves. For most of us who are not elite runners, we’re not necessarily out to win the race, just our race–not out to break the tape, but out to set a PR, or to fulfill our training with a good race.

So, my six-word running memoir: Striving to run my race well.

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