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I'm Thankful for Running

Joined: 11/30/2010
Posts: 1
By: Teresa LaForest

One Foot in Front of the Other

The good, the bad, happy, and sad. Each moment I am thankful for, but I would have to say I am most thankful for my simple gift to put one foot in front of the other: running. The fluent power of my foot pushing off of the soft earth carries me through the emotional roller coaster of a teenage girl’s years. During these runs, reflection time allows my mind to open up, helping me come to many realizations about myself and life.

Dashing along a sandy beach, brilliant hues of golden sunlight shining overhead. Winding through a lush, emerald forest, leaves softly crunching underfoot. Jogging in the middle of a bustling city, shimmering streetlights illuminating my path. These are times that I love with a passion. But taking step after step is truly not as simple as I once believed it to be. The thought of people, too often, taking experiences like these for granted, despite the fact that many others struggle with taking a single step on their own, penetrates the depths of my mind.

When I reflect on this, realizations about life and myself surface in my swirling thoughts. Treasuring each and every moment, I desire to make every second count—there are less of them than one may think! Slowly over time, as I begin to run more often, I uncover the fact that rewards are not simply handed over to me; I need to work for what I desire in life. No, it isn’t always fun or easy, but those passion-driven rewards become so much more worth it, knowing how much heart and guts I put into it.

With each step I take and breath I breathe, patience and steadiness develop. I can choose to put my personality into it, or just get lost in it by going with the flow. When alone, pounding the trail creates an outlet for my pent-up stress and emotions by giving me time to burn off some steam. This allows me to move forward with a clear mind, bringing my bitter, racing thoughts to a halt. Each step shared with a friend or family member strengthens my relationship to him/her in a unique way because a connection forms between us, without the need for words. My running has given me some of the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

After many miles sustained by inner strength and perseverance, a passion for life has grown, and I can honestly say that I am not sure where I would be without my running. Because of all the new friendships formed, all the old ones strengthened, and the understanding of myself uncovered, I am forever thankful for all that running has done for me. It is truly amazing how much simply putting one foot in front of the other can reveal and how blessed I am that it has stayed with me for so many years.
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