A Thank You Letter to Running

My mother taught me it’s proper etiquette to send a thank you note when someone makes me feel good. I thought I would write a thank you note to running.


Dear Running,

If you would have told me that I’d be writing a thank you note to you 20 years ago, I would have laughed out loud. That’s because I used to hate you. You weren’t the joyful activity that I know you to be now; instead you represented punishment and pain.

I was made to run when I missed a volleyball serve or a layup on the basketball court. I wrongly associated you with negative vibes, and for that, I’m sorry.

The funny thing is, once we were properly introduced and I got to know you over time, I found that I not only enjoy but love you and your many benefits. You’re not so painful after all. This taught me that all good things come from the effort we put into them.

It surprised me to learn that you welcome runners of all levels, ages and sizes, which was fortunate for me at the time because I was very slow and chubby. Perhaps this is why you’re so globally popular.

Your open arms have inspired me to reach beyond my self-perceived limits and to authentically connect with some pretty cool people, with whom I can talk about anything and everything (like chafing) and receive a deep level of support when I need it.

Thank you for helping me build confidence and self esteem.

Thank you for aiding me in losing the weight I carried as a protective barrier.

Thank you for making me smile when life’s sadness rolled into town.

Thank you for giving me something to strive toward, reach and celebrate.

Thank you for the hard, humbling runs because I now know that these are the ones that have taught me the most.

Thank you for all the beautifully earned views and vistas, especially the Blue Mountains.

Thank you for inspiring many creative ideas for columns, books, and running adventures.

Thank you for getting me up early for all the sunrises and the many long runs with wonderful people.

Thank you for the swag, the medals, and the shopping opportunities. Who would have thought this tomboy would love running in a skirt!

Thank you for the stinky rides in vans during relay races, the pickles at the trail aid stations, and the marshmellows and campfire songs in the staged races I’ve run. These little things are what make active memories for a lifetime.

Thank you for teaching me that passing the joy of running on to others will be my greatest reward in life.

And finally, thank you for always being there – whether fast or slow, home or away, sunshine or rain, short or long – your presence is a gift in my life, and for that, I’m grateful.

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