In running and life, we experience all kinds of ups and downs. In running especially, I believe that you must embrace the low to feel the high. This weekend we got a LOT of rain. Since I don’t own a treadmill and I do not currently have a gym membership, all the miles I put in must be outside. The idea to do a 30-day running streak came to me last weekend when I was out for my first run back from a week-long rest. I have wanted to become a more consistent runner for a while now, so I thought there would be no better way to kickstart that than to just go all in. I think if I could run at least 1 mile everyday for a month, then I could convince myself that four or five training days throughout the week is possible. I was only a few days into the streak when I broke it. It was on Friday, and I told myself that on Saturday I would attempt round 2, and the perfect punishment would be to run 3 miles in the cold rain. So, Saturday morning, that’s exactly what I did.
As the rain continued to fall, I set out on my 3-mile run. I realized almost immediately that it was going to be a good run, and I was not going to let anything ruin it. So much for punishment! About a half-mile down the trail, I noticed that my shoes were already filling up with freezing cold water, but I could not let it get to me. Another half-mile later, I heard rushing water and caught a glimpse up ahead of a small pool of water forming just next to the trail. As I approached the sound, I was pleasantly surprised to see that a waterfall had formed on one side of the canyon. At that point, the canyon walls are pretty high, so I would say the waterfall was around 30 feet tall. On the way back from my run, I paused my watch so that I could stand there and be present, listening to the water as it crashed against the rocks and puddled up at the base, feeling the rain drops lightly hitting my cheeks. I was the only one on the trail for as far as I could see. Needless to say, I forgot about my freezing cold feet.
I did not want this run to end. I had the feeling that I could keep running forever. Yes, it was freezing cold, and I was probably one of very few crazy people out on the trail, but all I could think about was that waterfall. If I had not gone for that run, I would have missed out on something so breathtaking! This made me realize how important it is to embrace the lows. It was raining and cold, and I could have stayed inside and skipped my run, but I didn’t! I embraced the elements to see where it would take me.
Some of my best running moments were in the rain, snow or freezing cold temperatures. Running has given me so much to be thankful for, and, without it, I would be missing out on all the highs. I run to test the limits of my body, to embrace my strengths, as well as my weaknesses. I run to embrace my ambitions, hopes and dreams. I run to embrace my inner child. I run to embrace change. I run to embrace all the seasons and all the elements. I run to embrace the highs and lows and everything in between, because to feel the “highs” you have to embrace the “lows.”