Why Do I Run?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a lion or a gazelle — when the sun comes up you’d better be running.

– Who Knows

When I was ten years old, my mother would take me to dance classes she taught at the local JCC.  They were boring, and I didn’t like the way that the women in the class would fuss over me, so I usually tried to occupy myself elsewhere while she was teaching. For several years this consisted of either watching swimmers while eating challah, or trying to find enough coins to get a plate of french fries at the cafeteria.

The JCC had an indoor track adjacent to the one of the dance studios.  It was old-school and looked like it was made out of melted tennis courts. The track circumnavigated the gymnasium below and smelled like old basketballs and gymnastics equipment.  Each of the four turns of the track were pseudo banked. It was a tight squeeze.

I don’t know where I originally got the idea – possibly from my mother, but one day I decided that I would do laps around the track during her classes.

The track felt long.  I’d run 10 minutes and then want to do something else.  But I always kept a tally of my laps.  I was always interested in knowing how long and how far I ran.  I wanted to know for next time.

I’ve never been a great runner.  But running around that indoor track became more than a simple pass time.   It signified the beginning of a way of thinking that’s been with me ever since and is pervasive in my life.

This is the beginning of a series of posts I’m publishing about why I run and how running has changed for me as I grew into adulthood. I’ll share my thoughts about training (now and in the past), motivation, and why I’ve extended my trial of miles for so long.