I can't believe there was a time when I used to be fast.
But it did happen.
I'd run six or seven miles a day in high school. The mile was too short for me; I only once broke six minutes. But a two mile or a 5K or a 10K? Those belonged to me. My girl friends and I were indestructible-- we could high jump and throw shot put and then go out for a five mile run up a mountain, singing Disney songs the whole way. And we did, often.
Now Shawna and I barely have time to get together on our favorite trail here in Charlottesville. Emma and I find ourselves running the Thanksgiving "Drumstick Dash" a little slower every year.
I wish I knew what happened. I know it's not about getting older yet, because I'm only twenty-three. But sometimes I find myself exhausted just at the thought of putting on my running shoes and stepping outside the door.
One thing I need to learn is to be kinder to myself. I'm not competing anymore. These days it's not about fast times and medals and college scholarships, it's about the memories and not letting go of something that you love so dearly.
So I still run.
You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.