The Running Pianist has been on a break recently, but now we're back in full force with the upcoming New York City Marathon on November 6th!
INFLUENCES: WHY DO I RUN?
It's interesting to try to figure out what your influences are in any aspect of your life. Are you involved with the things in your life because you have this innate desire from another life, or is it because you have been exposed to it at some point in your life? Surely, it's a mix of both.
I ran through all of my grade school in one form or another with a love/hate relationship of the activity. I loved running, but I didn't have any idea how to prepare or train correctly, and when that is the case, running can be hard.
It took a lot of trial and error and research as an adult to discover proper training and balance to be able to build up a good physical system. This made running easier and more natural in a way.
I knew as a teen that I was not going to be a professional athlete, but few are. The creative and musical pulls were too strong and began taking more and more of my time. For many years throughout my undergrad degree, running was not a part of my life. I would run when I had to in intramural soccer, but training for races didn't happen until after.
The thing that really stuck in my memory was the experience of watching my dad run in his marathons and the smaller races closer to home. The excitement that came with being around millions (yes, in NYC, millions) of people out cheering on tens of thousands of runners, most of whom were running for themselves, or for a cause, or for a family member. No glory or reward beyond the deep satisfaction that comes with a personal challenge and the euphoric release at the finish line.
That is what drew me to run my first marathon 12 years ago. I like a good challenge, and those who have run a marathon know that it's one hell of a challenge.
So yes, Dad introduced me to running, and I was presented with opportunities as a kid to run cross-country and track. That surely carved out a running-sized niche in my life which I came back to as an adult.
I've always been drawn to high-level athletics and the very best of the best of athletes in the world. There's something about humans pushing themselves so hard for so long in the pursuit of one singular distance or race that appeals to me. The connection with that drive is built into my character, but the love of running for the sake of doing it comes from my dad.
Now that I'm a father myself, I try to gently introduce my daughter to my life-loves and activities I feel have great value. Just some exposure, with an air of curiosity and sharing. No pressure. It is my hope that she will be drawn to something like running which I hold so dear, and that it might bring her as much joy as my dad's love of running has instilled in me.
If you know someone who might like The Running Pianist, please pass this along and share freely! I will be checking in with updates on this through my newsletter as well. New readers can subscribe here:
Thanks for reading!