by Luc Vos in Start Running

What keeps you going?

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Why do you run? What is it that drags you to the road every time? Why do you need to go before you go crazy? Why do you drag yourself through the pain of warming up, running for a long time, getting tired, feeling pain and sweating like hell?

Why is it that you go mad if you get injured and cannot run for a while?

Is it to be fit? To lose weight? To feel good? To be part of that group of people who know they need to run to survive?

Or just because you have become addicted to that wonderful feeling of knowing you can do it? Knowing you can run whatever distance you want. Maybe 21 kilometers. Maybe less, maybe more, but always, you know you can do it.

Maybe you feel pain while you’re at it. Maybe you have a moment of weakness and think you won’t make it. But all of that is instantly forgotten the moment you reach the finish.

All of that is gone the moment you stop and start to stretch. You have done it. You reached your goal and know you can.

At least, that’s why I do it. I started out to get fit. I wanted to lose weight. It wasn’t easy. At first I couldn’t run as far as I wanted to. At first my heart rate wouldn’t go down as much as I wanted it to. I was hurting all over. Feeling bad. Feeling angry because it didn’t go the way I wanted it to go.

But I did not give in. I kept on going. Only to learn that I really could do it. To learn that if I kept on going, there was nothing I could not do. Slowly but surely I became fit. Slowly but surely I lost weight. I reached my goals.

But once I got fit, once I lost weight, I couldn’t stop anymore. I had to run. I had to keep on going.

I had become an addict. I have to admit it. I am an addict.

And am proud to be one!

I have to run every other day. If not, I get nervous. I become a burden to my environment.

I need it to keep my mind sane. To get my thoughts arranged. To think about what has gone by. To relive the difficult parts and learn from them. To experience the easy parts again and enjoy them one more time.

To dream about what’s ahead and plan it in the best possible way.

Not troubled by any other distraction than the sound of music I have chosen myself. Running to the beats of my favorite songs.

Accompanied by the voice of my Runkeeper companion that guides me through the distance and tells me how I’m doing.

A voice I have grown to love. A voice I miss when I don’t hear it for a while. A sound that makes me dream about the woman who donated her voice to the ultimate goal of helping all those thousands of runners around the world reach their targets.

When I run, all things that keep me busy pass through my mind. Both the good things and the bad things. I find solutions for the issues that trouble me. I see challenges in ways I wasn’t able to see them before. Solve riddles and puzzles. See how life can be broken down to simpler parts.

While running I find new things to do. I get ideas for books. I see things I have never seen before.

And I fantasize. About every possible thing. I dream of winning the lottery. I dream of becoming a worldwide bestselling author. I dream about…

Everything you can dream about.

But it does not stop at dreaming. A lot of the thoughts I have had while running have turned into reality. They have become real books. Real projects. Genuine successes. Original solutions to multiple problems.

My running is my doctor. My running is my medicine. Running is what I need to remain healthy, both physically and mentally.

My worst nightmare is the day someone would tell me I have to stop. Something has gone wrong inside my body and the road is longer mine to conquer.

I really do hope that day will never come. And if it does I will fight it, with all that I have. With all that I am.

But until that day, the road will remain mine to take. The miles will be mine to run. My personal victories will be mine to achieve.

My running will be mine to do.

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