I run because…
I used to run because I wanted to lose weight. I was running away from that muffin top and those thunder thighs. With time, though, that started to change. Years later, I kept running because I actually enjoyed it. Now, I run because I have to.
About two and a half years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. For those who aren’t familiar, “stage IV” means it is bad, really, really bad. In that moment, in that day, in that week, and for the two years to follow, I felt as though my entire world had been shaken. It was almost as though I was living inside of one of those snow globes. You know, the ones that you buy from a gas station at the end of a family vacation. It was as though someone haphazardly decided to give my snow globe a little shake. Suddenly and without warning, everything I thought I knew was a blur. The ground around me had been thrown into a frenzy. I was scared. I was confused. I was hurt. I was lost. So, I ran.
The trail was my sanctuary
The trail was the one place where everything stayed the same. I jumped over the same rocks and slid passed the same trees. I had my rock where I cried. I had my overlook where I prayed. I had the sun and the moon that followed me around, and I found comfort in the ground beneath my feet.
The trails were that one place where everything was supposed to be blurry. The trails were that one place where everyday noises were supposed to be drowned out. I had found a place where my heart was supposed to race, where I was supposed to feel exhausted, and where my tears could mingle with the sweat streaming down my face.
I learned to listen to beat of my steps, to feel my breath, and to soak in the world around me. I finally felt as though I had control, so I decided that I would keep moving. For two and a half years, that is exactly what I did. I got out of bed every morning to jump over my rocks, pass by my trees, and play with the sun.
2-1/2 years later…
Now, two and a half years later, I sit waiting for the results from the latest PET scan. I am terrified that suddenly and without warning my entire world will be flipped upside down again. Luckily, my mom is a champion. She has conquered more mountains than I have ever laid my eyes on. Heck, I nicknamed her “Turbo” for a reason. And until we get those results, I will find comfort in the trail. I will keep running because I have to, because it is my place.