What is my “why” now?

I read a tweet recently that said it’s now time to focus on your “why” when it comes to running. Since the coronavirus pandemic brought us to a halt, races have been canceled, time spent running is reduced, due to time management or being sick or quarantined. The idea from this tweet is that honing in on “why” you run has never been more important.

What if your “why” for running was to be with friends? What if your why relied heavily on the social aspect? This is my new struggle.

The reason I run has primarily always been for the social outlet and friendships I have. It turns out not having this why makes running feel harder. Just motivating myself to get out the door has become a chore. Sure, I like running for the sake of running. I like being in shape. I love spending time on a beautiful trail or enjoying the views. I love racing too, but for me, running has always been about being with others I admire and enjoy being around, who also love this sport and healthy activity. Running for me is a team sport. Are you training for a race? I’ll meet you for a run! Are you racing this weekend? I’ll come cheer in costume and make a motivational sign!

Enter: Coronavirus 2019-2020. I had a race in early March just before as a society, we realized that social distancing was our new main activity. Yikes. I took a few days off to recover. Then, my daughter developed mild coronavirus symptoms, was tested, and we were told to fully quarantine until the results came back (ten days later!!). This meant no running, not even alone, until the doctor called. For the first time in my life, I wished I owned a treadmill! As it turns out, my daughter didn’t test positive. I spent those ten days not running and missing it. Missing my friends. Missing normalcy.

Running was hard after all that. It is STILL hard. It’s not the way I want to do it. I don’t have all my whys to run with anymore. It sucks. So, now what?

Here’s what: It’s okay. I don’t have to have a why. You don’t have to have a why. Give yourself grace to not know what to do or why you are doing it. Go for a run if you feel up for it. It’s okay if it takes you 3 hours (or 24 hours) to get yourself out the door. Or perhaps you are thriving on this new strange routine, and running is easier than ever! That’s awesome! My point is: there is no perfect way to do this. We don’t have to have some great personal achievement, running or otherwise, during this “extra” time we now all have not sitting in traffic. Or maybe, you are able to take great advantage of this time to accomplish something extraordinary! IT’S ALL FINE.

So what’s my why for now? I don’t know. But as Des Linden recommends, I’ll keep showing up. (If I feel like it).

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