Running always had a place in my life. When I was a kid it was my mechanism for proving I could hang with the boys in the neighborhood. When I was a teenager and unaware of the concept of consistent training it was like that boy I so wanted to like me but just didn't. After high school it was that thing I so longed to do but thought I couldn't: time, injuries, etc. After law school at first it was something I decided I would unconditionally love and would accept whatever it gave in return. Later, I became so immersed and so loved by running that it became my sweet escape from all my worries. And now.
With peanut, running has taken on a new place in my life. I cannot escape into it like I once did. Although I do long to let my body prove itself out on the race course or out on the track from time to time, I do not feel on the outside looking in like I did through adolescence and young adulthood. It feels like such an innate part of who I am now. I feel its rich love for me despite it's subordinate place in my life.
No, I cannot escape into it like I once did. But these days as I struggle through the weeks of summer between father's day and my father's birthday this Saturday, running, even the little bit I do, brings me peace. I cannot hide in it and pretend I'm not sad, but I can let it comfort me for a little while. And when I run, I cannot forget I'm sad and miss my dad, but I can feel safe and secure when I do.
And that's one of the great beauties of running. Our relationship with it weathers and matures, yet it always has a place.