I identify myself as a runner. I ran track in high school, I’ve completed two half marathons, a 10K, a few 8Ks and a few 5Ks. I try to run year-round unless injured and while I’m not sure I’ll race again, I will try to run for life.
Last week I was out for a short 3-mile run. As I approached the turn-around point on my route I saw a runner on the opposite side of the street heading in the opposite direction. I touched the streetlight at my turnaround, now following the other runner, and got after it.
My sights locked down on my new challenge. My turnover rate increased and my feet sprung off the ground a little quicker as I continued my mini-race. I had a mile and a half to go on my route but as far as I was concerned, all that mattered was the next quarter mile. I secretly hoped he stayed on my street so I’d have a little more time to catch him. As I closed in, I felt a rush of adrenaline and my speed increased even more. I pulled up even to him and continued my route, refreshed and energized.
The experience reminded me of the endless pursuits we engage in every day. Many people describe the beginnings of courtship as “the thrill of the chase”, even Adele wrote about her failures in love as “chasing pavements”. Catching that runner reminded me of all the things I’m chasing. I remembered not to lose sight of them, to persist, and to both enjoy the chase and be motivated by its outcome, whether that be falling short or succeeding.
I chase self-actualizations and acceptance of myself. I chase knowledge. I chase new skills. I chase relationships- I’ve broken many over the last few years and I need to strengthen them. I chase better outings in the kitchen. I chase financial stability. I chase good health. I chase happiness. I will be happy, but rarely satisfied.
Here’s to that endless pursuit.
PS- This probably goes against other philosophies I’ve subscribed to lately, like being content with your own run and understanding other runners you find are at different ability levels and training stages compared to you. I understand that and keep that in mind, but this one particular moment was simply refreshing and the chase felt validated and worthwhile. I understand that the ultimate chases with running and other endeavors are against my personal bests, but for a brief moment, I let myself compete a little. It was fun.