I run because of Key Lime yogurt.
I run because the world is loud.
I run because I can’t always be honest.
I like the way that running breaks the calloused mind. I like talking with the truth: the little voice hiding underneath the fluff of the everyday static. I like digging for the clarity. I’ve gone to running when stuck between the most difficult choices of my life. I like the way running always makes the harder choice.
I think running is preparing me, in some way, for the death of my mother.
I run because I’m a terribly average runner, with all due respect.
I run because its glamour is measured in streaks of salt across flushed cheeks and sore knees.
I like the way running is not an escape. I like the way running makes everything else feel like an escape.
I run because it’s sexy and raw and unkempt and in a mess.
I like that everywhere is somewhere to run. I like that I don’t have to pay anyone to go outside. I like running over crosswalks and under bridges and through the city wind.
I run because race bibs make me look stupid. I always think my bib is ten times bigger than everyone else’s, and that it’s slightly crooked, and that the safety pins will make permanent runs in the polyester. I’m never right.
I like feeling light. I like the way a skeleton can stretch. I like gliding around downtown and putting music on. I like sweaty socks and bitter breath and watching it all pass by.
I run because running is a parasite. I run because it bites back. I think we all need something to shove. We crave the fight. I like running because it picks on me. I like the way a bad race can ruin a week. I like the motivation that haunts defeat.
I like that running is never enough: that it keeps me thirsty.
I like the way running makes water taste so goddam good.
I like running because I’m clumsy and lanky and have always been the ‘kid in glasses.’ I like that it’s real hard to run in glasses.
I run because we sit down too much. Because we eat poison. Because it fills the lungs with air, clearing the smoke. I like the way the body glows, afterwards, like heroin, or making love. I like when I finally catch my breath.
I run because of short shorts and tanned thighs and naked collarbones. I run because it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself for ten miles. I like running because runners are happy (because it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself for ten miles). I like runners because they’re happy (and they’re the kind of people you want to be). I like runners because they’re happy (and happiness is hot).
I run because it’s hard and good and relentless.
I like collapsing into bed. I like earning it. I like studying my splits and searching for hills and chipping off the seconds. I like the way running makes the seconds matter. I like eating bananas. I like pushing around the thick in my calves. I like thinking about running all day. I like being obsessed.
I like closing my eyes to the sting of sweat. I like opening my eyes and seeing purple flowers. I like the hellish infinity of a long, straight road. I like exhaling it out.
I like the way they look at all of us when we run together. I like the high fives from the dog-walkers. I like the couples holding hands. I like the city folk. I like their rubber necks.
I run because I can feel it all over.
I like the way it feels all over.