A Runner’s Passion

Today I had a discussion with someone about my running and was asked to explain what my motivation is. I decided to try and put that into words here on the blog.
I know that many of you are very focused runners, and pay very strict attention to your times, and races etc… for good reason. There is a lot to gain personally by pushing one’s self to be their absolute best at something, and we all know what the feeling of “winning” at something is like, whether it’s a race or just overcoming an obstacle in everyday life.
I challenge these runners to take a day here and there and really think about what drove you to be a runner in the first place. Was it watching it on TV, or seeing other people out there on the street doing it? Friends on the track team at school? I’m sure there are lots of reasons that people can list. Most of us probably were running in our younger, school days, and may or may not have kept it up. Again, I challenge you to think deep inside yourself and make a list of what drives your running passion.

Passion. It’s a word that has many different meanings, but for this blogs purpose it is defined as:
a : ardent affection : love

b : a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept.

When I think about the passion that I have for running, my mind often goes back to Mizuno’s “Mezamashii”. A brilliant run. A run that tops everything. An eye-opening, awakening run. A run that comes from deep in your core and makes you feel inspired, hopeful, and fulfilled. Going Mezamashii means giving yourself totally to the run. Allowing your mind to either float or focus on the task at hand. I love that floating feeling, being totally involved in what you are doing, but letting your mind float as you go along.
I have found that running fills a need inside me for a couple of things… first the “Camaraderie” that I have missed since my high school days, and second it fills that “Challenge” void that sits there and constantly pushes me to better myself as a person. When I am running I often get caught up in my surroundings, in a good way. I am a very detail oriented person.  Many times I have been running along and spied a beautiful flower, or a butterfly that I hadn’t seen before, and I just had to stop and grab a picture and admire it. I realize that for other people, Mezamashii may be all about the ability to lose one’s self in the perfection of the run. The feeling of going as fast as you can, or as far as you can. Setting a goal and meeting it has to be one of the best feelings ever.
Sure there are times when my runs are terrible, and I feel disappointed in myself. Does that stop me from going back out on another day and trying again? Nope. We all have good runs and bad ones, and the bad ones are the ones that fuel our fire to become better runners as a whole. I welcome those challenges.
So I ask, what fuels your passion for running? I would love to know!
This article was originally posted by Louise Cunningham on Runnersramblings.com.

11 responses to “A Runner’s Passion”

  1. Beautifully put. Running offers me the outlet to find myself in a crazy world. I run because I love it.

  2. I just commented and it seemed to disappear. A few things fuel my passion. One is my dog Fergus. He LOVES running. It is a treat for him and not a chore and he helps me to view it the same way. When I don’t feel like it, I don’t want to let him down. When he is running, he looks like there isn’t anything else in the world he would rather be doing. Running has brought my sister and I closer together. Although she is older, she is faster, but we still compete in as many events as we can together. I compete with myself and she often wins a place in her age group. It isn’t about PR’s or prizes for me though. I just like the energy of a race; the runners at the beginning, the encouragement everyone offers during, and the crossing of that finish line.

  3. Lisa says:

    I am my best self when running. If I’m not out there racking up the mileage, I can’t be the best mom, wife, friend, sister, and professional that I can be. And since having my daughter, I really want to provide her with a positive female role model that appreciates what her body can do for her with hard work and dedication.

  4. Melissa says:

    What fuels my passion for running? I’m not really sure; however, I love the feeling of doing something I never though I could.

  5. Peter Larson says:

    Peace out on the roads and trails, and new shoes 🙂

  6. Pam N. says:

    In school, I was always the kid picked last for teams, and the kid who came in last in races. No one told me that I could train and get better; in those days you were either a good runner, or you weren’t, and if you weren’t, you didn’t run… Then, after college, I got a military scholarship to grad school, and the army REQUIRES you to run! So I started, and found (to my surprise) that I liked it. I still wasn’t fast, but I got good enough to pass my army PT tests. After I left the army, I ran sporadically for a while (I was in a surgical residency at the time; I didn’t have time to sleep, let alone run…), and then took it up again more regularly when I finished my training. I was still slow, but I liked the time alone (it’s very meditative for me), and I liked how I feel when I’m fit.
    At first, it was mostly short distances — a few miles a day, maybe a 5K now and then. Then I found myself excluded from a 7-mile hiking trip planned by a group of friends — the implicit reason being they didn’t think I could handle a hike that long with a full pack. That turned into the impetus to train for my first half-marathon (“You think I can’t hike 7 miles? Fine — watch me run 13!”). Okay, it was admittedly immature, but the feeling of accomplishment when I crossed that finish line was indescribably amazing. That half marathon led to another one, and a few 10-milers, and eventually I found myself training for a full marathon. I’m still amazingly slow, but my two marathons are among my proudest accomplishments — I never would have thought, as I struggled through 600-yard-dashes in school, that someday I’d run over 26 miles at a time! Challenging, and overcoming, my self-perceived limits and shortcomings is what fueled, and continues to fuel, my passion for running.

  7. I actually really like this question! Well, this is more of a story than anything:

    I had always done rec-soccer, from fifth grade and under. It was a good team sport, and I liked the atmosphere. In sixth grade though, you had to try out for soccer, and they’d place you in either the A or B squad. There were so many girls there, that I decided not to try out (I did soccer more for the team, rather than to be competitive.) Around that time, my Dad had been talking about how he loved cross country. I found out that it was a no cut sport, so I decided to try it out. I mainly decided to join because my Dad seemed to love it, and it was something new to try out and still be able to stay active. Ever since, all of middle school I did cross country and outdoor track. When I came into high school, I added indoor track to the list. After completing my 6th seasons of cross country and outdoor & my third season of indoor, I can say that running has been a huge part of my life. My passion for doing what I do is to push myself to be faster and to stay in shape. Running keeps me both happy and healthy (not to sound too cliche). It’s a lifestyle that anyone who runs during high school can take it beyond that and later into life. I love my team mates, as well as the individualistic-ness of the sport. After a long run, it’s honestly the best feeling in the world. What I also love about running is how you can either run with a friend (or friends), or run alone, each instance competing with yourself; challenging yourself to get up that next hill, run those next couple of miles. It’s not only physically beneficial, but it makes the runner mentally tough.

  8. Allyson says:

    Runner…Hmmm, I’m not sure I would classify myself as a runner. Yet. I started last March at the age of 41 doing the Couch to 5K. I started it originally to motivate my husband, who has NEVER been someone to workout at all. But when he said, “I think I’d like to do the Couch to 5K program”, I wanted to support him. As a former gymnast who had loads of anaerobic skill, the endurance to run was always difficult for me, but if it helped my husband, I was going to try. I promptly took him shopping, we both got new sneaks, and an armband for our iPods, and we were off!

    I’m not going to lie. The first 4 weeks or so STUNK! I hated it. Every. Single. Moment. But…when I started being able to run for 10 minutes straight without stopping (HUGE for me!), I was pretty excited. Then I could do 15 minutes, then 20. When I was able to run for 40 minutes continuously, I was shocked and incredibly pleased. I had NEVER been able to do that, even at the height of my physical fitness.

    At that point, my motivation to run wasn’t my husband, it was me wanting to see if I could continue it. Wanting to see if I could “out do” myself. Wanting that sense of satisfaction at the end of the run. That was what motivated me.

    Unfortunately, I had a soft tissue injury that waylaid me for a while, but guess what? It’s March again, and the road is calling my name! 🙂 I’ll see you there, Weez!

  9. Anonymous says:

    This is a good question. I feel like there are a number of things that fuel my passion to run. First I have to say that in high school I was on the track team. I was not competitive at all, so when it was time for my race I would hide in the bathroom. I loved being on the team and I loved to practice, but competing was not for me.

    In college I started running on my own. I ran in all weather and loved it. I think I mostly ran in those days to lose weight. After college I did not run for years. Then I did it off and on, but couldn’t really find the passion or the dedication.

    Now at age 51, I love to run. Well, I should say most days I love to run. Some days it is a love/hate relationship. I love the way it makes me feel. I love that I have accomplished something. I think I do it now because I want to be healthy and I have some goals I would like to reach. I have decided that a half marathon is on my bucket list. I don’t really care if I win a race but I do care if I finish. I have found this competitive side in myself at age 51. I am mostly competitive with myself. Recently, I ran my first 5k and I shocked at how much I LOVED it and how slightly competitive I was.

    When I run I feel better, I have a better outlook on life, my health is better and I feel I have accomplished some goals in my life.

  10. Jen says:

    My passion for running – came first from my husband, he was always running and was happy(ier) and fit while I was packing on the pounds, then came from my mom. Her death pushed me to want to be healthier for myself and my family. I run to ease my stressors, to feel good about myself, for the personal challenge, and to provide my kids with a healthy role model.

  11. Darlene says:

    Crossing the finish line