The Joy of Running

Run.  Run so that when your feet hits the ground, it’s the pavement that hurts.  My running mantra; oh how I miss thee.

I begin running a long long time ago growing up in my hometown of McAllen.  I was inspired by a Vietnam Veteran who worked at the post office at the time because after work he could be seen running around town.  My dad, also a Vietnam Veteran, knew him and would honk his horn every time we saw him.  I remember my dad telling me that if he would ever stop, he would die of a heart attack because it was so conditioned on the body being able to run.

So I began my running days around 1980.  We lived a few blocks north of the old high school track.  At night, this place became alive with walkers and runners alike.  It was an old dirt track, so there were no lanes.  You had walkers on the inside, middle, and outside so if you were a runner you had to constantly be swerving on a busy night.

As I grew older, I mapped out my own running course.  I had a 2 mile course and a 3 mile course, just depending on how I felt running that day.  In Junior High, I ran track and cross country, so after physical education, I would remain after school and run my miles that day.  Afterwards, I would walk home, do my homework, eat dinner and probably go for another run at the track as my mom walked her laps.  I was a crazy fool then to be running so many miles.

I would continue my running all the way up to about a year ago.  My hips, lower back, knees are not as young as they used to be.  Running almost became a chore and it was not something I wanted to endure.  So why run?  Simple, the one pure joy of running was having all the elements of my body synchronized and in tune with each other.  My breathing was relaxed.  My stride was perfect.  My heart was beating fine.  It was like my own body was a machine, a car, and I was taking it out on a cruise.  If I needed to give it more gas, I could.  If I needed to let of the gas and cruise, I could.  It was that euphoric runners high that I achieved on an almost daily basis.

You always think of what are you going to do in the future or when you finished a phase in your life.  For me, it is to go back to running and start entering some races just to enjoy the euphoric runners high that I miss and the ability to do an activity that I really enjoyed.

Author: danielgarcia3

Retired Military Officer who is now fighting the good fight against Cancer

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