That’s right. I said what you’re all thinking. I know it’s not the politically correct thing to say, that it’s not a kosher statement, but I don’t care. I’m putting it out there that I run completely and totally for my selfish self. I don’t run for either kids or kidneys. Nor do I run for hearts, lungs, skin, colons or prostates. (I might run for breasts, but that’d totally depend on the context.) I most certainly don’t run for heart disease, multiple schlerosis, down syndrome, diabetes or any form of cancer. I might consider running against them … but probably not. I don’t run for general health, for other people’s obesity, or for the environment. I don’t run for general fitness. And I can say with certainty, I don’t run for you.
About six weeks ago, I was running through China Town, and on a down note in whatever I had blaring on the headphones I heard a Latino voice yelling, “Hey, Gringo! Why you jogging?” My normal reaction to something like that would be unprintable, but as I was basically past the guy by the time the question registered, any response would have involved breaking stride and turning around. Not worth the effort. But, over the next few days, I puzzled over the question, why was I jogging? I scratched at it, prodded it and, then grew tired of it and forgot it. That is, until the pre-race speeches at the Healthy Kidney 10K about three weeks ago.
At the Kidney, between (NYRRC Prez) Mary Wittenberg’s and the United Arab Emirates' representative’s respective speeches, we were all putatively running for healthy kidneys, medical research, general health, kids, against obesity, for religious tolerance, freedom from discrimination, international comity and for world peace. Yes, actual, honest-to-goodness world peace. I only wish I had the creativity to make this stuff up! Despite what you may think about running for a cause or a charity, that's really an awful lot of pressure for a 6 mile footrace. As for me, as those speeches were filling the air, I was realizing that I don’t run for any of the reasons they were giving. That’s right, none of them.
So, why do I run? I’ve spent three weeks thinking about it and have an answer:
I run for the sun rising over the
I run for the thrill of singing along with The Killers at the top of my lungs as I hit the peak of the Williamsburg Bridge (can't hear my own tone-deafness with headphones, heh). I run because I know what it’s like to be stopped by injury and I run because I know what it’s like to run through one. I run to get through the morning heat that collects on
I run because my life is richer with this hobby than without it.
There really is only one answer to the question, Why are you jogging? I run for myself. Any other reason would present a pale comparison.