Why do you run?

Because it’s a natural human action.

Because I can.

Because he chased me around the playground when I was in Kindergarten.

Because I really wanted to catch that yellow butterfly when I was in 1st grade.

Because my parents signed me up for a race when I was in 2nd grade.

Because I needed a running start to do backflips when I was in 3rd grade.

Because I thought running home from school was “more funner” when I was in 4th grade.

Because it was the fastest way to cut across the dirt fields to the park when I was in 5th grade.

Because I loved the conversations with my mom as I ran alongside her bike when I was in 6th grade.

Because I wanted to join my best friend on the cross country team when I was in 7th grade.

Because we would have gotten caught toilet-papering the cute boy’s house when I was in 8th grade.

Because I was a sprinter on the Track & Field team during the off-season when I was in 9th grade.

Because I had a dream to get a soccer scholarship when I was in 10th grade.

Because I needed an escape to pray after they told me she would die when I was in 11th grade.

Because running in the rain was a beautiful way to hide my tears when I was in 12th grade.

Because circling the track at midnight with my college roommate always reaped thoughtful and hilarious conversation when I was a college freshman.

Because I was sitting in an orphanage during nap time and wanted to see the outskirts of Pereaslav, Ukraine when I was a college sophmore.

Because Soccer Hell Week didn’t hurt as bad when I was a college junior.

Because I wanted to be on the AIS soccer team and travel the world when I was a college senior.

Because when I didn’t have a car, it was the most adventurous, raw way to discover South Africa, England, China, Ukraine, and Hungary.

Because it keeps me fit and strong and in turn gives me opportunities.

Because those opportunities have allowed me to connect with people all over the world.

Because it pointed me to another passion- coaching.

Because I see more…the view from a peak, colorful wildflowers that bloom on the trails in the spring, a sunset on the cliffs of the beach; the gracefulness of a bounding deer, the way a forest of trees rustle their branches with the sweeping wind, the brilliance of a million stars against a mountain’s midnight sky.

Because I discover shortcuts on city roads, meet friendly people watering their lawns in the neighborhood, and save a few bucks in gas.

Because I share moments, stories, laughter and even tears with precious friends and family.

Because it is a form of expression.

Not all expressions have proper explanations- and even these explanations fall short; there may not be words so befitting; but this is also precisely why I run; for when I have no words; yet so much within me…I run.



Photo: Billy Yang (Santa Monica Mountains)

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Author Sally McRae

More posts by Sally McRae
  • William Read

    Because my father forced me to sign up for crosscountry when I started highschool in 1972.

  • Pamela Wooster

    Because it keeps me close to many wonderful friends.