Saturday, May 24, 2014

My story and picturebook of running: How I learned to finally run free

"My" running road

 Running.  I don't do it to lose weight or to be healthy.  I do it because it is something I've always dreamed of doing.  It brings me freedom, increases my gratitude, and makes my moments absolutely happy. 

When I was an early teenager, two older girls in my neighborhood ran often.  I had SO much wild admiration for them.  I respected how they used their bodies in such a beautiful way.   I grew up experiencing many outdoor activities but running stood alone, on a pedestal, as something exceptional. I admired running more than any other physical endeavor.  I've always held running as something great and sacred.  I feel like my feelings toward running have always been a part of me. 

 I tried running a handful of times but it never clicked for me.  Physically, my body didn't want to run, but emotionally and spiritually I wanted to run and run and never stop.  To me, running was beautiful, whole, and simple.  We use the power of our own bodies, propel energy forward, then simply bound ahead as we were created to do.  In life, we run away from things that anger us and frighten us; and we run toward things that excite us and energize us.  Running wholly encompasses our emotions from one end to the other.  Running is the joining of our physical self with our emotional and spiritual self.

Later on, after I married and had three precious boys, I enjoyed the beauty of running once again through my children.  I vividly remember watching my boys run as toddlers.  My heart was most happy and most content while my boys were running.  If those little legs were pumping, arms flying, and faces beaming, it confirmed that they were both healthy and happy.  And in that very moment, my world was perfect because nothing made me more content than happy and healthy kids.  I would feel this way over and over again throughout their childhood every time I saw them run...playing tag, chasing dogs, following a ball, escaping a tackle, racing toward something exciting.  These were my best moments.  And of course, those moments centered around running.  To this day, my most peaceful times are watching my boys run.

Several years ago, during our family's very difficult and horrible life season, I turned to running.   I ran on a treadmill to work through the pain.  The desperation and agony my soul felt could only be released on that treadmill.  I ran hard and fast, always crying, until my knees literally buckled.  I habitually did this for months because I didn't know how else to handle the raging ache within. Obviously this habit of running wasn't wise and was short-lived.  So the running stopped.

Awhile later, I attempted running again, this time for health benefits.  To motivate me, I would close my eyes and visualize my dreams.  My big dream was to run long distances with my boys.  THAT is what excited my spirit and what my soul longed for.  I would slowly patter on the treadmill, eyes squeezed tight, and visualize my boys being teenagers, running with me.  My goal was to be able to run with my boys when they were older.  In my mind, I saw it all.  I saw 3 tall blond boys, running with their mama.  However, when I opened my eyes, I saw my current reality was far from that dream.  Physically, I was at rock bottom, unable to run a mile.  And my boys were still little toddlers.  But that is what I would think of for motivation every time I attempted a run.  I am amazed that the dream I had all those years ago, has come true!  In fact, the power of visualization truly blows my mind.  It works!

once upon a time they were toddlers...

...and now they run with me

Finally, after years of tucking away the silent admiration and dream of running, I had a personal breakthrough.  This time I didn't try running to lose weight or to escape negative emotions.  I tried it because I simply wanted to run.  During a time of huge emotional growth, I realized that I didn't need to lace up my shoes and run as fast as I could, dying with every breath before collapsing before the end of the street.  I learned that I could drop all of those perfectionist high standards and I could just be.  However far or fast I ran would be good enough.  I could just exist and enjoy life, I didn't need to be the best or run the fastest.  I saw it with more simplicity:  if I ran, then I was a runner.  I just relaxed and celebrated the gift of moving my body.  This time, when I attempted running, I started slow. At first I ran slower than some people walked.  But I leaned forward into a running movement and that was sufficient.   My boys would walk alongside me and encourage me (yes, their walking pace matched my run). Then when they got bored, they would skip home, grab a bike or scooter and find me again on the road.  "You can do it mama, you're getting good!".

My oldest, Cameron, never left my side.  He patiently trotted along side me every time.  Sometimes he would look over at me, and if he noticed I was struggling, he would push my back, helping me along.   Cameron is my consistent running partner and he hopes to do a race with me soon!

 Those boys blessed my spirit and breathed life into my new found success with running.  I never twisted their arms to go with me, they just joined in enthusiastically.  Their hearts were tender and encouraging toward me.  I am so grateful for their support.

I have since done a little bit of racing shared here and here.  And recently I raced my first half marathon!  I'll be sharing about that soon.

Before last training run for my half!

These days, one of my favorite things to do is run.  My heart is head over heels in love with running. When on vacation,  I try to run everywhere we go.

Running at Lake Powell

Running in Las Vegas

Running in boring hotels!

I am crazy about the gift of running!
Running has always been something I dreamed of and now I get to experience it. 
Running makes my soul shine.  
I feel like the happiest girl alive when I am outside, hearing nothing but the sound of my shoes hitting the road.  
I don't know what the future holds, but for today, I think I'll run.  

"My"  running road

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caveman said...

This is easily one of my favorite posts you have ever written. My heart is filled with emotions, and I hung on every word. You are an amazing person, Lisa Moore, and it thrills me to call you a runner.

Cara@HomespunKitchen said...

I too love this post! I always felt your exact same feelings when it came to wanting to run, I always tried, and couldn't barely run longer than 5 minutes and feeling like I was going to die!

I just finished a half marathon a few weeks ago and ran the entire 13.1 miles, I was ecstatic, and it's funny how now I feel like I can call myself a runner:)

You look amazing, so proud of you!

Dori at The Red Feedsack said...

Dear Lisa, I loved this entire blog post. My favorite part is the relationship you have with your boys. It just left such a warm feeling in my heart. Aren't you a lucky Momma to have them? (And aren't they the luckiest boys in the world to have you?) Hugs. - Dori -

Jenny said...


Just neat.


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Unknown said...

I absolutely loved reading this post. It is informative, completely comprehensive and straight to the point. I love to my with my tricycle rider baby!

Jiffy Faran said...

I love the way u show all the post & love to ride with my lovely e-scooter.Anyway good post.Thumbs up !!!!