I started running because of my grandmother, and my grandfather on my mom’s side. Both of them died, ultimately, from very major heart attacks. My grandmother died 6 years ago, on April 6th.  She had a massive heart attack and stroke the weekend before and had not wanted to be kept alive on tubes, etc., so after a week of the hospital making her comfortable, she passed away. I was very lucky to have been with her when she passed away. 

So, I decided that I was not going to go out of this world that way. I started speed walking and did that for a while, then stopped for some reason.  A few years ago, I had major abdominal surgery, a stressful thing. I started running the month before, had to then take off 4 or 5 weeks, and then started up again, with a vengeance. Some might even say I became, well, obsessed. Friends would ask me to go somewhere or do something, and I’d find myself worrying how I could say no politely so  I could still get my workout in. (I’d say most of us have gone through phases like that.)

But, for me now, it’s all about balance. Feeling like I’m in shape, feeling a sense of accomplishment on those good days when I tell myself to run for a certain period of time (and I actually can do it) or to run for a certain distance (and again, can actually do it.) As I said to my boss a few weeks ago, everyone defines success differently. For my brother, it’s running the Philadelphia Marathon in less than 3 hours (you should have seen the look on his face all day long afterward, he was just amazed…).  For me, it’d be running a 10K in somewhere between 55-58 minutes (that’s my goal for the Tufts 10K this year.)

And last, I run, because I can. And there are so many people out there that can’t. Like my friend Cheryl, who died way too young, at the age of 36, from cancer, which started as breast cancer, and after a short remission, seemed to come back wherever it could. (Please remember to click to help fund mammograms.)  Like Tim, the personal trainer from my gym, who got into a car accident last summer, and is working his way back to being able to walk again, through Project Walk.  His story, and how much his family cares about him, is really inspirational – you can read about it here.  It makes me think, “there but for the grace of God…”

And, because some days, I actually do get that runner’s high. (Not always, but enough so that I keep getting out there, or should I say, on that treadmill…)  Thanks to one of my favorite students, Brandon, for sending this article on the Runner’s High, to me.  (I’m a law librarian at a very large academic law library.)