I run daily. It's a tonic. It's a salve. It helps me preserve some vague semblance of sanity.
It's akin to sleeping or breathing. If I don't do it, I feel off. Things feel awry.
But, something's been missing recently. Running's become bland. It's unnerving.
I'm doing it, but I'm going through the motions. There's no passion. There's no pop. There's no spark.
I haven't felt this in a long time. I struggle to remember how I dealt with this inexplicable ennui the last time it encroached.
The answer coalesces. I haven't laid it on the line in awhile. I haven't toed the line for awhile. I haven't been tested recently.
Tests challenge. They intimidate. They frighten.
But, it is during these tests that you discover yourself or re-discover yourself. You discover just how tough you are. Epiphanies abound in these moments.
What also happens during these tests are moments of transcendence and inspiration. To endure despite doubt, fear, discomfort, and fatigue is to conquer.
I toe the line. I take the test. Ablaze, I fly across the finish line with nothing left.
I find my pop. I find my spark. I find my fire. The ennui burns leaving only a pile of ashes. This is why I do it.
This is the reason. The fire burns brightly. It won't be waning anytime soon.
If it does, I know what to do. The distance doesn't matter. The outcome doesn't matter. All that matters is I spend it all when I toe the line.
Inspiration can be found on a daily basis from simple runs down the street or up the hill or along the trail. It can be found in just a few easy minutes of running. A loop or two around the track can do it.
But, the tests one encounters on race day is where the fire is lit. It's all the wonderful moments of running amplified, augmented, and enhanced. If a test doesn't light your fire, nothing will.
I run because the fire needs to be lit...