I didn’t start running expecting to have any sort of epiphany about my place in this universe, or even to learn lessons about resilience, confidence or ego. I started running to be a little more healthy, and because I thought running a marathon sounded cool. True, my life needed a little shaking up, but I didn’t realize it at the time. What I realize now, seven years after my first marathon, is that running a marathon is fun, but that’s only just the beginning. It’s cheesy, yes, but ‘tis the season: running has changed my life.
As other Saltines have written, running has given me community, strength, and perspective, but as I reflect on a weekend of fabulous trail running, a Saturday morning half marathon in the sideways rain with a great friend and a Sunday morning “church” run on my favorite trails with my favorite people, I’ve realized that the greatest gift running has given me is a sense of wonder, appreciation and adventure in the outdoors.