Dear Running,

I know our relationship started out rocky.  Ok, let’s be frank…. I hated you and you hated me.  I told myself I could never be a runner.  I thought you were stupid, and pointless.  You never made me feel good, you only hurt my feelings and my ego.  When we first started seeing each other regularly, I was still very involved with walking.  I even bounced back and forth between you and walking.  I did that for a long time until one day, I decided I only wanted you.  We took it slow and little by little our relationship progressed.  I fell in love with you.  I wanted to run all the time.  Sure, I dabbled in biking and swimming, but you had my heart.  I loved running and I wasn’t afraid to say it.  I started getting faster.  I set a goal of doing a 5k in under 30 minutes and together we got there.  I could see no end to our relationship.  Each week as I opened up my training calendar, I hoped to see more of you than anything else.  I couldn’t get enough of our time together.

Things were going so well until it happened.  I had to stop seeing you.  It wasn’t by choice.  I had a biopsy and could not run for a couple of weeks.  I missed you!  I thought about you.  When I was cleared, I immediately wanted to run again.  Things were a little tender, so we took it slow.  Then I was told that I needed surgery.  I only had a few short weeks before I would be forced to give you up for a good month!  I probably should have spent as much time with you as possible, but my head just wasn’t in the game.  Little by little, I saw you less and almost gave up on us.  After the surgery, and our time apart, I told myself I would jump back into it and it would be so amazing.  The first few runs were slow and easy, I was still very much healing.  I started to remember what we used to have and was eager to get it back.  I tried to rekindle what we had, it caused me pain.   The more I tried, the more you hurt me.  I got the news that the pain I was feeling was a broken bone in my foot, and that we’d have to be apart for even longer.  The pain in my foot was nothing compared to that of my broken heart at the thought of not seeing you.  I rode my bike, swam and strength trained in the hopes that I could physically keep up, and when we were able to be together, it would be like old times.

When I was finally cleared, and saw you on my schedule, I was excited.  I could not wait to be with you again.  I knew we had grown apart, but I didn’t expect it to be like this.  There was no joy when we were together.  I expected to have that rush of clarity in the mind and my body to feel amazing, but when we got together it was like we were strangers.  Minutes in, I told myself it would happen soon.  That old flame would ignite and I was fall for you all over again.  Instead of jubilation, I felt aches, pains and my brain just kept telling me to stop.  What happened to us?  How could we have grown apart in just a few short months?

I told myself it was my brain just trying to trick me and to just get through it.  I felt defeated and almost betrayed by you.  We had something special and now it was gone.  I saw you on the calendar again and hoped for the best.  Maybe that was just a bad day, I’ve had horrible swims.  I’ve had horrible bikes.  Yeah, it was a bad day.  The next time I saw you, I told myself, it would be great again.  I woke feeling ready to go, I couldn’t wait to be with you.  I headed out the door and told myself to just go.  I felt that familiar buzz of my watch, telling me I hit one mile.  I looked down at it, afraid of what I would see.  Your betrayal was written there on my wrist.  In that moment, I wanted to just leave you.  What was the point?!  How could you treat me this way?  To see a pace that was almost where we started was a hurt I wasn’t sure I could come back from.  I could have walked almost that fast I thought.  Maybe I should just do more cycling?  The next few times, it was more of the same.  My coach told me to put away my watch, to forget about time.  He said that it didn’t matter.  He told me the speed would come back and I hoped the joy along with it.  I realized that he was right.  I didn’t love you the first time we were together.  Maybe I needed to give it some time.

We are starting over, and I accept that now.  I’ve had many a friend get into a relationship with you, only to give up on it.  They were happy with you, but you are hard to be with.  You are fickle.  Sometimes you make me feel like I can take on the world.  Other times, you make me feel like all the work I have done was a waste.  You make me hurt sometimes, but I can’t deny the fact that sometimes you give me a high like nothing else.  We have a damaged relationship, you and I.  You won’t change.  I realize that.  If I want this relationship to succeed, I am the one that needs to change.  So, I will.  I am going to work at this, for both of us.  I won’t give up on you.  You and I are going to get back what we had, and grow even stronger.  I will love you again, like I once did.  I guess, part of me still loves you now or I wouldn’t be willing to fight for you.   I’ll see you on Monday.  ????