Friday, July 26, 2013

A Treat

This morning, I gave myself a treat.

Yeah, I know. Weird, right? What kind of person treatss themselves with running?

I wasn't supposed to run today. In fact, doing this was officially breaking the rules. But I could just not let this weather happen without me taking the opportunity to take a run that didn't feel like sweaty death.

Central Virginia in July - unheard of!!

I decided to say "Damn the rules!" and head out this morning. I just wanted to run and enjoy it. No real plan or objective, just do what felt good. It turned out to be lovely and fast, and I spent the time meditating on the question of why I engage in this particular activity. I got started on this train of thought when it dawned on me that waking up at 5:30 am on my Friday to go on a run was something that I wanted to do today. It wasn't something I had to do. It wasn't part of my training plan and will in fact, put me over my prescribed tally this week for running miles.

So why why WHY on Earth did I do this? What compelled me to get up extra early and put in extra time on the pavement, especially on a Friday? 

The usual parade of reasons came to mind first: because I can; because I want to eat a Quarter Pounder tonight on my way to my twelfth Dave Matthews Band concert and not feel guilty about it (don't judge); because the weather is nice and I would be stupid to not take advantage; because running is good for my health; because if I don't work out I'm just not going to feel good today.

All of that stuff is true, but I was searching for one reason. How do I wrap up all that stuff and make sense of this crazy runner person that I've become?

What I eventually came up with (during mile 5) is that running has become a habit.

I was going to call it a vice, but then I looked up the meaning of the word "vice": immoral or wicked behavior. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness, and corruption.

Yeah... not really a vice. Is it just me or is that word misused and overused these days?

But a habit (definition: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up), yes. These days, it's just something that I do because it's, well... what I do. It's very odd for me to think of it that way, but I think it has become the truth. It's just something that I want to do; that I need to do in order to feel like myself.

Now that I've said it out loud, it doesn't really make any more sense to me than when I started this entry. 

Talk about a head-scratcher.

Maybe I should stop trying to figure out why I do things and just enjoy them instead. Why do we always seem to have to justify our every action and identify motivation for what we do in life? 

Over analysis takes the joy out of everything. So I'm going to stop wondering why I did what I did this morning. I did it because I wanted to and had a great morning; isn't that enough?

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