Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stepping Out Over The Line

It's been almost a year to the day that I started running seriously. For years, I ran 2-3 miles at a time to supplement my other workout regime, either weights or yoga. Last year, I bought a new pair of running sneakers and started tacking on the miles; I'm running (or at least planning to run) 13.1 miles this coming Sunday in the Philly half-marathon.

As I look back over this past year, I realize how much running has influenced my life. I used to worry so much about accomplishing "stuff" during the day. When I stage manage a show, I work A LOT but when I'm not doing a show, my days are my own for the most part. Oh, I have to get the kids to school and dinner on the table but the in-between is up to me.

So I'd worry that I wasn't busy enough. Everyone else talked about their hectic lives and I'd think, "What is wrong with me?"

Running has changed that perspective for me. Slowing plodding along, one step at a time, trying to get closer to the goal: life isn't a sprint to the end (at least for me), it's one step at a time. So now I worry less about how much I've accomplished and I worry much more about what I want to accomplish: I run, I volunteer, I bake and sometimes I clean and I'm doing just fine.

I don't compare myself to others either. I've run a few races in the past year never worrying about how anyone else was doing. I'm running for me; to see how I can do. And, I'll admit it, I'm rather proud of my quiet little life when I'm not doing a show. I have time for my kids, time for fun, time for...running.

Part of this new attitude I owe to the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It's a wonderful book, really well written, and I highly recommend to anyone who likes a good read (even the non-runners). He really expresses the joy and simplicity of running and why people love to run. He also de-bunks a lot of running myths such as: running hurts, people shouldn't run, you need certain gear to be a good runner. Running should be low-stress and so should life. I hope we all find that something that helps us in our everyday life. It doesn't have to be running, that's just what worked for me.

I'm still a slow runner (and I think I've gotten slower as I've upped the miles) but I run and I bake and I love it. So in honor of the book and the hobby that has given me a new lease on life, here's a video of someone who has clearly found something he loves to do; lucky for the rest of us, he's pretty good at it.


  1. too cool. not a big runner, but i love to hike and take long walks in the woods, which has given me a similar perspective. keep running, keep living...

    and good luck this weekend!

  2. Thanks Brian. Maybe it's just the right exercise that allows us the freedom to live freely...

  3. I used to run a lot... mostly because the Army made me, but also because I kinda liked it. Unfortunately, also thanks to the Army, my left foot isn't quite good enough to run on it every day.

    Still enjoy walking, though. Gotta keep the dogs busy, you know?

  4. Bruce said it best. Good luck Sunday. I expect to hear all about it on Thursday! I'll bring the rolls.