Taking runs for granted

Running solo lately and I am hit with a tinge of shame. When I look back on how I actually complained about needing space, needing my “own thing” and feeling like I was spending too much time with my boyfriend…I don’t even remember what my thought was except I wish I appreciated it more when it was here. Nic has been dealing with a pinched nerve for a few months now. He sits at home in pain and all I want is to go rock climbing or go for a run with him. I miss doing adventurous things together, sharing our passion.

I went for a short run the other day. I really haven’t been running like how I used to. That day just felt different. I woke up and my first thought was, “I feel like running.” As I was putting my shoes on to go I looked over and saw Nic on the couch. Memories that seem so far away swept passed me. Everyday we used to plan a new route together and just go run. I really miss that. I took our runs together for granted because I was finding things to complain about.

We began bonding over chess these days. At least we still have that and I appreciate every moment of it. Even when he wins.

Sacrifice.

School and work vs. passion and fun. Having responsiBILLities deter us all from what we love in some way. Trying to pay rent and car insurance while also being in school to become a journalist sometimes deters me from my love for rock climbing, for running, for writing, for painting.

Do we live to work, or work to live?

It would only be a utopian world if I could have enough time in the day to train for a marathon, go to school full time, work full time, and still have full time to hang out with friends or to cuddle up with my kitties and read a good book. But that is not how life works, and I am sure everyone can relate to that. It is all about sacrifice. Giving up one thing in order to succeed in another.

I am learning to accept this…slowly. If I want to be physically capable and mentally ready for running 26 miles then I have to give up certain things. I can’t stay out late every night or paint when I should be doing homework or use a free hour to watch Grey’s Anatomy instead of running five miles.

Some might say I am complaining. But this is a conflict that comes up and needs to be faced; not with negativity, but with openness and willingness. It depends on how we deal with these choices, what attitude I choose to have that defines my life. I make time for what I feel is my main priority. If I want to paint or write a poem instead of run, I will not cage myself and limit my love. That thing called time management just needs to be used once in a while. Or as I like to call it, “time embracing”.

Running to me is not a chore or a burden. It is a choice I made for me to embrace every day. And oh man!, I better love that choice or I got to go back and find something else to do. Sacrifice does not need to have a bad connotation attached to it. Humans sacrifice for love and it is usually always worth it in the end. Hell, I will never know if I never try. And I won’t know until the finish line has been crossed. Sacrifice is only the stepping stones across the pond.

My other hobbies will always be there when I am done, waiting for me to say hello again. My boyfriend will understand and so will my friends. The people that really know you will understand what your sacrifice means to you and it will matter to them that you are happy.

My kind of love

My boyfriend mentioned he wants to run the marathon as well. With me.

At first I was very hesitant. After lots of time thinking, and at the same time lots of time letting go of my thoughts, I realized I don’t really care if he runs it with me or not because I will do it with or without him.

So, this made me really want to share my thought process in hopes that it can help anyone else out there struggling with a decision to let someone into their secret world.

I am a very independent woman here, as are many of the fellow ladies in my life. We like to chill, do our own thing, and not worry about boys or problems. And running gives me healthy space.

I was afraid that by sharing it with him, it would no longer be ‘mine’, but turn into ‘our’ journey.

It all sounds pretty selfish of me. Thinking this is all about me, as if he has no say in the matter. But this is my blog so if you want his side to the story you can find him walking around Palomar College.

Running has become an essential part of my life. It is my therapy, my meditation. It is where I can go, to not escape my problems, but to let them go and allow life to figure itself out. I become more humble and more compassionate. It is where I learn about who I am and how I want to live my life. Is it possible to do all that with my partner at my side in the one place I keep just for myself?

I guess I am a strange individual who feels the need to prove her independence to her boyfriend. When the two of us started rock climbing together I wanted him think I was a badass rock climber all on my own, without his hints and tips. But, I was barely making it up beginner routes. Granted I had not climbed in months, but I wanted to be a little better than him at just ONE thing. That was just not the case. After getting frustrated several times for literally falling on my butt in front of him, I decided to enjoy it. I was not living in the present. I was living in fear. Listening to his beta was actually helpful when I learned to actually listen and our communication has strengthened ever since.

So, when deciding whether or not I wanted to run the marathon with him, I realized it will be what I make it. And thoughts manifest into reality. If I keep thinking it will suck, then most likely it will be the worst experience of my life. But, if I can let my ego go, just as I did and still do when we climb together, then I can enjoy his company rather than resent it for no real reason.

Running does not have to a lonely sport. It is definitely a sport that can only be started and finished all with your capacity to how much you want it. There is no relying on anyone else to pick up your slack or to make you go on. The quietude of the mental state I reach, and most likely a lot of people, is so peaceful.

Having another person by my side isn’t going to make me get my butt up a hill, but it make it a lot less lonely knowing someone else is facing a similar battle within themselves. I would love to see Nic experience what I feel when I run. It is one of the best highs. And if I said no when he asked to run the marathon with me I would be denying him the elation and bliss that comes with accomplishing putting your body and mind through hell. And coming out a survivor.

I can not promise anyone out there that the presence of your friend or significant other will make running any better, but I don’t believe it can harm it. To be a runner, you must have a stronger mind than allowing outside elements to effect your peace.