Running with Meaning

I run because:

1) It is a way to exercise my democratic rights.

2) It allows me to tackle the day with a positive attitude.

3) It is a reminder that no matter how challenging a situation may be, I have to keep moving forward to cross the finish line.

4) It allows me to burn off steam when feeling stressed.

5) It empowers me to set and reach goals I don’t think I’m capable of conquering.

The above reasons are some of the top five reasons why I enjoy running. However, running has morphed into a healing antidote from the feelings and thoughts of helplessness I experience from the cruelty and injustice happening all over the world.

I don’t doubt the world has always been a cruel planet. I’m completely aware of the villains of History that date back to the beginning of civilization.

I cried when I read the Diary of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel’s Night in high school. I cried on the morning of August 21st when I learned of the viscious beheading of James Foley. There was so much sorrow within me, the only thing I knew to do was run. The six miles were so short and so meaningless in the grand scheme of things, I felt so insignificant for even attempting to try to put any symbolism into my run. But it was all I could think of doing. I made every single breath count. My heavy breathing was to represent all the breathing days that were stripped from James spirit. It was a consolation for my aching spirit and a gesture to make it known that his mortality was forever immortalized in my heart.

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During those six miles, the sky, the wind, the trees, and everything around me were alive, and I didn’t take their existence for granted for a split second. Any concern at the forefront of my list of stressors evaporated because they were so inconsequential.

I cried this morning when I learned again about another beheading. And once again, I ran.

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I will continue to cry every time I learn about an injustice that occurs in the world. In fact, I don’t ever want to stop crying each time I learn about the unjust death of an innocent human being. I don’t ever want to become desensitized to the atrocities of mankind. I want for my heart to break to a thousand pieces each and every single instance as if it were the death of my own blood relative. And I shall find healing and meaning in every single one of my runs. Because it’s in my runs that I find hope. It is there where I believe that for every evil-doer that exists in the world, there are ten times more good-doers. It is in my runs that I believe that a passionate beating heart can create a ripple in the ocean so big, its magnitude can cause the entire Earth to shake off its axis. It is during my runs that my feelings of helplessness dissipate into the skies and are replaced with cells of empowerment. It is during my runs that I recognize the fortunes of my life and the minuscule stature of my problems.

I run because it helps me heal.

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Why do you run?

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