If we push on, we begin to feel a vague, tingling sense of who, or what, we really are. It’s a powerful feeling, strong enough to have us coming back for more, again and again – Adharanand Finn
Who really knows who they are? I’ve often wondered about this as I look back and realize how much I’ve changed as a person. As I’ve aged, moved away from family and friends and forged a life in a new section of the United States, a lot has changed in how I view the world and myself.
I don’t who that 16-year-old girl was who wanted to be called “Zammi” in my Facebook memories.
That’s where running comes in.
There’s a spiritual part to running that I’m not sure I had experienced until about a year ago when I really started running longer distances. I remember my first “long” run during half marathon training. I was set to run 8 miles, and I remember thinking there was no way I could ever run that far. It seemed impossible at the start.
But I started running anyway.
And, channeling my inner Forrest Gump, I kept running. I may have wanted to stop, but each time I pushed through a mental struggle or muscle twinge, I felt stronger. When I finished that run and came home, I remember being very tired, but also so invincible.
In that moment I knew I was meant to be a runner. I felt at home with myself, in my own skin. I conquered a challenge without help from anybody else. No one there to cheer me on during the hard moments.
I run for that feeling. Almost like a drug taking hold, making you feel capable of doing anything. If you are lucky enough to experience the runner’s high, the feeling is addictive, and every run you try to reach that point again.
I am not myself when I’m not running. I’ve noticed the change in myself when I stopped running after the Marathon. And, I’m noticing a change again as I work to get back on a schedule. When I’m running, I know who, and what, I am.
I’m a strong, independent woman who can take on anything. I can get through struggles and unexpected trials. That kind of confidence is hard to come by. But, sometimes as quickly as it comes, it’s gone again.
And that’s why we keep coming back.