Does everyone's imagination fly during their runs? I find such deep comfort in my own mind while running, especially my during long runs. There is something about having to only pay attention to the few steps before you, or the possible tiny ache that might turn into a huge injury, or watching out for that pebble over there....(and then doing that for hours and hours) that makes one dig real deep into a world all your own. As Seth Godin describes marathoners, "they find someplace to put the pain." I put the pain aside and get busy with my imagination. Yes, I feel bad always shunning group runs and invitation to run with friends, because ultimately, all I want to do is run alone... not because I don't like the company, (I love my friends) but because I much more prefer my own company, always.
A few years back I could have not written these words, "I prefer my own company. " or much less, believed them. A few years back I desperately sought self value from outside of me and needed a buttload of external validation everywhere I turned and all the time. I wanted to run with others for the wrong reason, for validation. I wanted to share my journey, again, for the wrong reasons, for validation. Now, I feel I am enough....enough to be my own company, enough to find myself thoroughly entertaining, enough to love myself...... On a long run, there are no thoughts too racy, no emotions too " wrong", no scenarios too far off base ...During a long run, and in the privacy of my mind, all thoughts are welcomed, nurtured, accepted, savored. And since I am a slower runner, I have a lot more time to myself overall. I can best describe this feeling feeling of quiet joy as a type of intimacy one might share with a close friend, a lover or a spouse, but in this case, simply with oneself.
I have decided long ago, after reading a ton of Dyer-type books that the purpose of this particular reincarnation for me is to develop self-worth. Made total sense to come to come to that conclusion; having had it tough (an understatement) as an adolescent and having had zero control over what happens to my own body during that time did some serious damage to my self worth. Yet, turning all that pain into fodder through the power of running has been a lifesaver. Turns out all those years of suffering has allowed me to become an expert on putting the pain elsewhere and getting the work done. Even on my worse days now I think, "girl, you've walked through fire, this ain't nothin'". Running has also allowed me to rebuild myself from the inside out and has given me purpose, strength, pride and the will and fight live and love again. Life is good.