I went for a run today.
It wasn't a long run. It wasn't even a fast run. It was just a run. Another day of running in a life filled with many days of running. I run to think, reflect and simply BE.
I've always been a runner and I have always loved to run. At times I have been pretty good at it. There are some fast times on my score sheet. There are lot's of memories of competitions, victories and defeats.
But that is not why I run.
Being a runner is more than the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. Sometimes it's simply a time to be who I am.
I remember when my dad was sick and I went to visit him in New England. It was the middle of the winter but I headed out the door everyday for a run. It was a time to think and reflect. Those were some amazing runs.
I too remember going for a couple of the runs when I returned home for my dad's memorial service. It was another time to be and to reflect. So many memories about my dad involved me running. Those were also some amazing runs.
Running helped me to heal way back in 1999 when my cousin Becky died. For the first time in my life I experienced the loss of a loved one. The hurt was so deep but somehow going for a run everyday helped me to heal and become whole again. Often times those runs were on the verge of tears and slow as can be but that never mattered. I was running, I was free and I was me.
The runs weren't always sad or reflective.
When I lived in Colorado I remember running to the high point on the west side of town to get the best view of the mountains when the snow first fell in the fall. I couldn't be there but at least I could see the peaks. This brought joy and peace.
When my son was little I remember some slow and exhausting runs. It always felt good to get out there and run even on just a couple of hours of sleep.
Sometimes I ran a lot. One week a few years back I decided to run 100 miles in a single week. I had to run 18 miles on a Sunday but I did it. I also remember a few years back when I run 4 miles per day for an entire year. Those miles weren't pretty but I accomplished something that was a challenging and meant something to me.
Running has always helped me to grow.
Running has, for good or for bad, defined me.
It does pain me to know that I am not fast like I used to be. I have accepted that however. I know am more appreciative of running in general and what it does for me just when I do it and not just when I am fast.
The memories of the races won are there and can never be taken from me.
The memory of the school record in the mile that stood for 18 years; it's still there.
The time that I led my team to a state title and the other time I led my team to a state title; parts of me that will never be taken away.
Crossing the finish line to hear the words, "Rick Copley YOU ARE AN IRONMAN". Words, visions and memories that can never be taken away.
Running has done a lot for me. Running has helped to mold and define me. All the runs and memories have a place in my heart and in my soul. That's pretty cool but at the end of the day, when all is quite and the reflection begins... do you know what I am most thankful for?
Tomorrow I can get up and run again and create another memory from a run....