I Run Because I Can

“I’m too old for all that. My body won’t let me do that anymore,” my friend said.

When people hear I run, especially some of the distances and places I run, I often hear replies like that. There’s a kind of sadness in their voice. Almost like the loss of childhood.

I live in an area that is populated by many seniors. I play golf and softball with them.  I hear that sadness in their own voices. Bad knees, bad hips, achilles, poor foot structure. The sadness extends even into things they can probably control. Overweight, lack of confidence, fear of failure, resignation.

I’m pretty lucky. I was blessed with a strong body and never really suffered any serious injuries that limit what I can do. I’m blessed to have had both good genes and a good childhood where I am not overweight, nor do I have any issues of confidence. Perhaps I’m just too naive to think that I can’t do something.

My father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year. It’s been awful. In the three months since the diagnosis, he’s suffered nothing but extreme pain. It’s hard to watch. This is a man who was/is my role model. He loves the outdoors. He was an avid hiker, camper, and backpacker. I’m fortunate to have inherited that same passion to be outside and be active. But now, he’s spending more time in the hospital than at home.

So, I run for him. I run for those whose bodies have broken. I run for those whose spirits have been broken. I run for those who never thought they could.

I’m going for a run…because I can.

Terri Rylander

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