Today is Day #6 of my 30 days of running and I spent most of the day feeling gross. Pretty much like I was going to puke. Not what I call ideal for trotting on a treadmill. My first instinct was to give up my run for the day. After all, it sounded like the sensible thing to do. Then I thought ‘what would a runner do? what would i have done before when i was a runner?’.
Runners are a lot of things but sensible about missing their runs… not so much. The answer to my delimma was obvious. Today, despite that sea-sick feeling in my stomach, I would run. I donned my gear and headed downstairs.
As I ran my obligatory time, I thought of all the runners I’ve come to know in the past few years. Some I’ve run with, some I haven’t. I thought about how dedicated they are and how deeply saddened they become when an injury makes them have to stop doing the thing they so desperately love. I thought of an old high school friend, Barb, who shared with me that she was no longer able to run and I thought about how much she would give to be on the treadmill instead of me. It deepened my resolve… to run and become the runner I used to be. Because I can still run, I just chose not to. And how sad is that? I willingly gave up my gift. Some day I may not have the luxury to pick it back up. My gift may eventually be gone too.
I was talking with two coworkers yesterday about regret and which is worse… regretting the things you didn’t do or regretting the things you did do. There’s plenty of things I regret doing in life (most of which won’t be shared on this blog) but I honestly don’t have many regrets about the things I haven’t done. Maybe that’s because I like to think I have a long life ahead to accomplish and do a million things. Or maybe it’s because I feel pretty good that I’ve taken the chances in life as they have afforded themselves. I categorize becoming a runner again as one of those things I know I’ll regret if I don’t do.
As I ran this afternoon, I thought about Barb and all the other runners out there that would gladly kick me off that treadmill and take my place if they could. And so I ran for them. Longer and harder than I have before.