I recently saw a video from Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski about True Love. He told the story of a man who said he “loves fish” and then he comments that this man loved fish so much that “he took the fish out of the water, killed it and ate it”. The question: Is that True Love? The answer is “No” – if you love someone or something because of what it can give you, that isn’t True Love. True Love is about giving to the other, not taking. Mother Teresa seems to also agree.
With all this evidence, I think I have to finally admit something….I don’t truly love running. I fish love running. I love running because of what it can give me – muscular legs, smaller waistline, stronger heart and lungs, time for myself and time with other health-minded women. Running gives me perspective – it clears my head and my heart. When I run outside, running gives me the chance to enjoy the beauty of quiet rail trails and the hustle of city sidewalks. Running on a treadmill gives me permission to use my imagination and make believe that running an incline of 4 is equal to running the Mount Washington Road Race.
What have I given to running? Hundreds of old sneakers (which I usually donate to the Nike Reuse-a-shoe Program)…smelly sports bras and running capris….OK – I do give up time with my family but honestly, I don’t mind because I need that time away. I’ve also given up time from other activities like eating, reading, pooping, watching TV, but it’s not like I’ve given up chocolate or midnight mint mocha frappuccinos.
I’ve tried to do my part in giving back to the running community. I’ve volunteered at races and I’ve devoted numerous hours to my Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) chapter. And this year, I coordinated the first Healthy Kids Running Series (HKRS) in my new hometown, a program that promotes the running lifestyle to kids age 2-13. But does that truly show my love of running or does it show that I just love to get free shirts?
In my opinion, all these activities have given back to me in more ways than I’ve given to them. Joining MRTT was my way of getting to know other women in my new area. Starting HKRS gave me an outlet for my energy and creativity since I had 3 out of 4 kids at school this past year.
Are you keeping score of who truly loves who? Well, you shouldn’t! True love doesn’t work that way!
I just have to accept it – running truly loves me while I only fish love running. At least for now. Maybe the next race will be the one to prove that I really, truly do love running.
But I wouldn’t hold my breath…
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