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  • Keith Wallace

My Why: Freedom

As an avid runner, my life has always been intertwined with the rhythm of my footsteps on the trails and sidewalks. From 5k races to the enduring challenges of 100-mile ultramarathons, running has not just been a sport for me; it's been a way of life. However, life often throws curveballs, and last year was my turn to catch one. An injury took me off my feet, forcing me to step back from the running world.

Over the past several months, I have entertained other athletic pursuits to fill the void. I thought about diving into the world of bicycling, scaling heights with bouldering, or testing my limits with cross-fit. Each of these offer their unique challenges and rewards, and I am grateful for the experiences and lessons they provided. However, despite the excitement and new skills these activities offered, something was missing.

Recently, as I laced up my running shoes and took those tentative first steps, I realized what that missing element was. It was the sheer, unadulterated freedom that running offers. Running is unique in its simplicity and accessibility. Unlike other sports, where you need specific equipment or a designated place, running only asks for a pair of shoes and a desire to move forward. The beauty of running lies in its spontaneity; the freedom to step out and embark on a journey wherever your feet take you, whenever you feel like it.

This realization has revealed a hidden “why” for me on running. I always held the belief running is about self discovery, and still do. Nevertheless, it is also about the liberation it offers. The freedom to explore new paths or sprint down familiar lanes. The freedom to be alone with your thoughts or be an active part of your surroundings. It's a freedom that's both exhilarating and meditative, offering a unique blend of adventure and introspection.

To those who have experienced injuries or setbacks, I understand the frustration and the longing. But there is always a silver lining. In this particular case, for me, it is coming to realize a deeper “why”. So what is your why?


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