Every Run is a Story (What’s Yours?)

10 Jul

There are so many reasons I love my wife that I couldn’t possibly list them all and you’d probably puke a third of the way through. We’re cuter than you can probably handle. So in an effort to keep your laptop keys vomit-free I’ll just focus on one reason I love my wife; She listens to me. She listens to me a lot. I’m an introvert, which I think is code for “I like my thoughts better than what you’re trying to tell me.”

That was a joke (kinda), but even though I am an introvert that recharges on alone time, I love to talk about myself and what I’m doing. I’ve learned that it’s a fairly universal trait that all of us share. So when I meet someone new I like to find out what they are excited about and let them tell me all about it. I think I’m free to give an ear because my wife gives me hers everyday. Not everyone has it so well.

No Discs in the Bedroom

She only has one rule: no disc golf talk in bed. Before running took the top hobby spot in my life I was a touch obsessed with disc golf. I just might have, maybe, fallen asleep clutching my favorite mid-range disc like a teddy bear… more than once. My fellow disc golfers understand. That doesn’t make it okay, but they get it.

Disc golf gradually gave way to running as my passion for two reasons. One, I realized that I was not going to be the disc golf world champion. Two, I noticed that disc golf makes me happy some of the time and enraged and frustrated just as often, but running almost always makes me feel better.

So now my wife gets to hear about all the new running routes and goals I devise. Now rather than a hole-by-hole recap of my disc golf rounds, she gets a mile-by-mile re-play of my runs. She doesn’t mind though, in fact she enjoys the tales for this simple reason: she likes a good story. Every run is a story. Not all of them are remarkable tales, but all of them have the potential to be one, but only if you’re paying attention.

Running is like a Box of Chocolates

Some runs are comedies filled with outlandish characters and slap-stick foibles. Others are epics filled with mountains, perilous river-crossings, and alligators. There are horror stories with lost trails, dehydration, and dog attacks. My wife doesn’t like those stories. She prefers the grand romances with sweeping vistas, lush flora, abundant fauna, and vibrant sunsets.

Our Favorites

But most of all she loves the stories of self-discovery, of philosophy, of finding peace in my heart from that nagging guilt and self-doubt that I carry. She loves the stories in which I’m crying in the rain, running through my grief and finding release in a downpour that mercifully covers-over my pain.

She knows that often I’ll leave a fragmented mess and come back feeling restored and vital again. So she lets me go and then she lets me talk my way through all the miles when I get back. For me running doesn’t make everything right, but it almost always makes things “better.” I see things more clearly when I’m running.

Open Your Eyes

Sometimes on a treadmill I close my eyes almost all the way so that I can shut out the world and just “feel” my run. Today I slipped off the back of the treadmill. It was actually kind of stylish. I hopped back on without a thought or a hitch in my stride. Then I looked around to see if anyone noticed. No? Oh yeah, I’m smooth.

Are you fully in the moment in your runs, or are you just checking off the miles? If not you’re missing half the joy of running. I’m going to keep using that phrase, “the joy of running” within my blog. It’s my hope that although it may sound strange to some, that at some point in reading this blog you’ll start to understand what I mean by that.

Share Your Stories

Do you have a poignant or amusing running story? Please share it in the comments or on our Facebook page. If you haven’t liked our page you might be missing some good ones!

3 Responses to “Every Run is a Story (What’s Yours?)”

  1. Jamie July 11, 2012 at 2:00 am #

    I’m shocked you didn’t mention the baby discs in this post. :) Love this post honey. I feel the same way about your writing as I do your running adventures. I’m so proud of you and happy that you’re writing this blog. It rocks. :)

  2. Stephanie Hanes July 11, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    This is exactly why I love running too: “For me running doesn’t make everything right, but it almost always makes things “better.” I see things more clearly when I’m running.” I wrote this post after my first running race and it’s pretty much what you said in that one sentence: http://www.tjsmhanesfamily.blogspot.com/2011/11/stronger.html.

    • Brandon July 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

      Thanks for the blog love Stephanie! I read your post, it was good! Thanks for sharing it. I started running a year before you it looks like. I also had achilles tendonitus training for my 1st marathon. On race day I didn’t know if I would make it. At mile 6 an enthusiast volunteer pointed straight at me and shouted, “Brandon! Today is YOUR DAY!!” We had our names on our bibs. Nice touch. Strangers cheered us on by name and it worked a special magic and made it feel personal. It was a close proximity to being cheered on by friends. In heaven it will be like that, no? Anyway, that turned it all for me. I swelled up with the truth that volunteer pumped into me. I loosened up and kicked the crap out of the race. I’m a believer as well and I hung back slower until mile 16 when I felt God released me to race. I started picking off pace groups. I smiled all the way to mile 25 when I hit the wall, but by then I was almost home so I easily trudged it out. I wept at the finish. I’d wanted that finish line for 20 years. I finally made it. Running and writing have been a few of the tools God has used in my redemption. I need both right now to feel fully alive. Thanks again for sharing and don’t be a stranger!

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