I never, ever in a million years thought I would fall in love with you.
When I was younger, I would run around with joyful abandon as many little ones do. I would jump, play, cartwheel, swing, dance, race… you name it, I did it. But as I grew older, I became much more of an indoor child. I loved reading and writing, crafting and playing music. I have never been athletic. So much so that I dreaded gym class and dropped it as soon as I possibly could. I hated sports. The drills and teams and dodge-ball and the beep test. I hated the way my body felt small and weak. I hated the idea that people would judge me.
But, running. I found you again in my late twenties and I haven’t looked back.
Thank you for making me feel strong for the first time in my life. I can run six miles without stopping. I can breathe again. The muscles in my body are getting bigger and stronger. I have confidence in my ability to move, lift, squat, accelerate.
Thank you for helping quiet things down. Running has become my outlet, my savior for my anxious mind. When I run, I am not drowning in the anxious whirlwind. I’m not wondering what if, what next, what now. I’m focused on each step, each breath. When I start to feel the thoughts coming, I crank up the speed and intensity until it’s all just white noise.
Thank you for giving me something to work towards. To strive for. I’m very goal driven. I love planning and organizing things. Running has allowed me to set big, huge, terrifying goals. Running has also planted the seed in my brain that just because I don’t achieve something right away, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And if I don’t reach it, I just need to keep trying instead of giving up.
Thank you for offering up an excuse to travel. I ran my first half marathon in San Diego alongside one of my best friends. I’ve waited at the finish line for my partner in Phoenix. This spring, I’m heading to Seattle to run along the river banks. I’m excited to see where else on the map you will take me.
Thank you for these incredible legs. Seriously, have you seen these things? They may be short, but they are strong. Solid. Yes, I stare at them in the mirror every chance I get. I remember the first time I noticed definition in my calves. I remember the first time I saw the pop of my hamstring, and thought “damn, girl”.
Thank you for starting me on the path towards loving my body. Through this love, I am learning how to properly fuel. I’m learning to not focus as much on the numbers on the scale, instead looking at what my body is capable of.
On a day like today – where love is at the forefront – I want to thank you for coming into my life when I needed to love myself the most.