Running on my own terms

I’ve run in one form or another since I was 10. It was around this time I started getting feedback about what running does to my body, and what people would see: people said I looked good during periods when I ran and lost weight; they said nothing during periods when I didn’t run at all. Thus was born my love-hate relationship with running and with my body. But during times when I do run, I do it for other reasons; I run because it feels good, because I feel useful, because it clears my head. I run to reclaim my body from a world that told me, “yes we are watching and judging your body, from the moment you leave childhood until the day you die.”

Anyways, I’ve been slowly getting back into running. Last night I ran to the climbing gym: 2.5 miles over a long-ass steep-ass tiring-ass bridge. I was thinking about how many things in my life are dictated by fear. I am not my fear, but it’s been a driving force. I am not my fear, but I’ve been enslaved to it. I am not my fear, but I live with it every day. I am not my fear, but my life would be different were I able to let my fear go.

I am not my fear.

I want to repeat this to myself often, because I associate independence with fear. Because often I act to avoid one thing rather than to gain something else. Because I’ve always been timid, even when I’m bold.

I am not my fear.

Monosyllabic words are perfect for a running mantra, because each word is a step.

Mantras can also take the form of a song, like this one:

I hope to learn how to run on my own terms.