• Shelby Schmidt

My Open Letter to Running



Dear Running,

I love you.

I didn’t understand you for a long time. I viewed you as punishment that we had to do in PE that made me feel shameful that I couldn’t run even one way around the filed without gasping for air. I felt like you weren’t meant for me and was embarrassed I couldn’t seem to enjoy you as an activity, only a means the the end. I realize now that it wasn't your fault or mine. We were just too young to understand each other and needed time to mature.

We met again later in life when I needed you the most. I was unhealthy and needed to change not only for me but for my future. I saw you as my shining beacon of hope to make the changes I needed. I had always held you onto this pedestal and decided it was time to take you down, dust you off and give it a try. I felt like if I could run I could do anything—-And I was right.

The first time I ran as an adult I felt weirdly home. I was exhausted, in pain and so over it but something kept me going and I thank you every day for that something. I didn’t know it then but I was finding a love I didn’t know I needed or wanted but one that would carry me through different seasons in life. You carried me through my weight loss and my work stress. We had a small rough patch while I was pregnant but I knew we would find our way back to each other. You waited for me after a long year post partum and welcomed me back with no judgement and open arms. You made me remember that your love wasn’t fragile and that you waited for me.


It may seem silly to some to love a sport so deeply and to be so enthralled with everything it has to offer but I don't care. When I run I feel closer to the earth, the sun and myself. I feel as if everything makes sense and like I can see everything clearer. I feel home. We’ve had our ups and downs and times that we both said and did things that we shouldn’t have. But we rest, we mend and we go another mile.

You welcomed me and my daughter back even though the landscape looked different. You taught me to have patience and grace not only with my body but with my new schedule that would change many many times over the past few years. As I’ve grown out of the post partum haze and entered into the toddler/young child mom phase you welcomed my daughter. She loves you too. She loves going fast and running like momma. You're teaching her she can do hard things and that if she keeps going she will get to the destination even if it takes longer. Even if she doesn't have the same insane infatuation with you that I do I hope that you stay together and she can enjoy similar gifts that I've received.

Thank you, Running. For everything so far and everything to come. I pray we can grow old together even when we may not be as fast or be able to hang out for as long. I just pray that no matter what we will be able to sit back when I’m 80 and still enjoy each other’s company. Even if I go at a slower pace, I know you’ll be there for me. No matter what.

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