The Running Angel

Just because I don't have wings, doesn't mean I can't fly.

On Running Away

2016-06-19 saratoga gap

Somebody once asked me, “Why do you run? What are you running away from?”

Immediately, I was defensive. “I’m not running away from anything!” I told him. “I’m running toward something.”

Every finish line represents a goal, and every time I run toward that finish line and cross it is a symbol of a goal accomplished. I run to chase after my dreams—to become healthier, to build my endurance, to visit different places and explore them on foot. I run to reach that part of myself that strives to do more and to be more.

But lately I started thinking about that question again, and I realized that maybe there are some things I’m running away from. Perhaps I’m running away from the naysayers, from people who tell me I can’t do something. Perhaps I’m running away from the bad habits that have plagued me for years, like playing too many games or watching too much TV—because the time I spend running is time spent away from those things. And maybe I’m running away from the things that stress me out, so that once I stop running and those things catch up to me, I can face them with a clearer head and a stronger heart.

Most of all, I’m running away from myself. From the negative thoughts that hold me back. From the fears that keep me from taking action. From the things I tell myself I can’t do. Running can be tough, and training for a race is hard work, but just doing it allows me to forget all the worries and fears, the can’ts and the shouldn’ts. It gives me the confidence I need to run toward the things that matter most. —A

Photo by Raymond Galang. Taken in the trails of the Saratoga Gap in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Santa Clara County, USA.

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