Water is kind of a big deal. We’re made of it. The world is made of it. Yet it is often a fight to force ourselves to consume enough of it to keep us healthy – unless, of course, you are a student looking for an excuse to get out of the classroom. My babies can’t get enough water. I’ve found that the earlier I begin drinking water during the day, the easier it is for me to drink it. Moreover, the more I drink it, the more I appreciate it.
There are some times I crave water more than others, however. Water is never so good to me as it is while I am running. Of course, because life is HILARIOUS, it’s also not particularly convenient to drink while running. I hate carrying anything with me as I run, though I know that if I don’t, the results will be ugly. Then I will curse both water and running and a vicious cycle can occur if I don’t choose to simply HTFU.
The more I need something, the more I tend to resent it. So it has been with my relationship with running since I last had a race. That run was brutal. I was secretly glad for my overuse injury as it gave me a valid excuse to take a break from running. I used the elliptical for a few weeks as a sad, sad substitution. I returned to running with some resignation. “Do I remember how to do this? Why am I doing this? IT. IS. SO. HOT.” I was able to force myself through one 10 mile run prior to leaving for Chicago, which I’m positive I wouldn’t have done had I not had this race and wanted to feel halfway good about it.
Then I saw her.
Ooh, baby. The starting line. I cannot see a starting line of a running race without my eyes brimming with tears. I was filled with joy as I remembered why I love to run. I love the chance to show myself what I am capable of when I do my best. I love to surprise myself. I love that I have an imperfect body that can do perfect things like run 13.1 miles! The starting line is just that – a chance to begin again and to give thanks for the gifts of life and health.
It frightens me how easily I can forget this. A little pain, a bit of discomfort – can cause us to take so much for granted. When we don’t hydrate properly, it is too simple to think that maybe we just don’t need it like we once thought. Suddenly, we are reminded by fatigue that this is not an option. Likewise, when we take the time to count our blessings, we realize that this too is something we should do regularly. We can then remember why it is we need something or even someone in our lives, and hopefully do our best to nurture it.
I guess what I’m saying is that you should hug your running shoes while you have the chance.