For as long as I could remember I was running. I think many of us learned to run rather quickly. It’s what children do. Most childhood games consist of running. As a child I ran and most of the time it was barefoot.
I ran to play Tag, Kick the Can, Capture the Flag, Red Roover, Red Roover, and Green Light Red Light. All these childhood games involved running. I guess you could have walked, but you weren’t going to win if you did. There wasn’t a need to be scared about running and you didn’t care how fast you were or how you looked when you played. You just ran. Why? Running kept you safe from the tagger. Running helped you capture the flag first or kick the can before being spotted, or plow through the linked arms to break the chain.
Running got me to places faster than walking did. And as a child I felt I could run and run and run and never lose energy. It was as if I truly was the energizer bunny. Let’s be honest, watching children play is exhausting at times, because they are always moving. Always running. Just recently at the park I watched nearly every child run at some point in their play, and not once did they look around to see if anyone was watching their form or noticing how they looked. Their concern was just to get to base or to the swings faster than the other kids.
As a child I was running towards things or away from the “bad” things (whether it was my brother chasing me with a bug or snake in hand or away from whoever was “it” in the game of tag). I wasn’t running away from myself. I actually enjoyed myself. I enjoyed running and playing.
Now, I find myself running away from myself. Trying to run away from the stress and worry (not a bad thing) and other times trying to run away from my goals, talents, identity. I believe those lies that I just am not good enough, not talented enough, don’t have enough “stuff” to go further or achieve more. As a child I embraced all of me and ran like no one was watching.
Running was simple and free. Barefeet, hair down and messy, and stark naked. Or maybe there was a few articles of clothing, but I do remember always being barefeet and with my hair in my eyes or stuck to my cheeks with the leftover lunch. No matter the terrain, dirt road, gravel or grass I was barefeet and it never bothered me. Arms flailing, sheer determination with breaks to enjoy a butterfly or look at an airplane in the sky. Then off like a race horse again. Going and going, but resting when I needed it and not caring if anyone was watching.
Now, my hair is neatly pulled back in a pony tail with a headband to keep the fly-aways at bay, perfectly matched running top and shorts, wicking socks and a different pair of running shoes for different running workouts. Oh, and that clunky GPS, heart rate monitor, pace setter running watch on my wrist. When did running become so structured and rigid? When did I let the child in running become locked up and the structured, always on pace runner take over.
I’ve always been a runner. It’s always been apart of my life. But somewhere along the lines running became a more of a chore. I started to care about what I looked like when I ran, what I wore in races, how fast I was going, how my arm swing looked, etc. I stopped running free. I stopped running towards dreams. I stopped chasing dreams. I started doubting my career, my life, and my running.
Along the way running became rigid and the childlike play of it was choked out. It became about the latest and greatest, the look, the popularity. Now I just want my childlike running back. The simplicity of it. The always newness of it. The exploring of it. The surprises of it. The untamed beauty of it.
As I look at my daughter and her love for going fast, I realize she knows so much more about running now then I do. I used to be an expert in running. When running was freeing and unplanned. Now she’s the expert, because running to her is freeing, takes her places faster than walking, takes her further, and costs nothing. It’s simple, joyful, and doesn’t notice an audience. The child in running dreams dreams and then chases them.The Child In Running - The Truth of where I've taken Running, But need to take it back too via @wholesomelybry Click To Tweet
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit