I’m getting ready to run the Eugene Marathon in a few weeks. When this comes up in conversation with friends and acquaintances, I get the inevitable, “You’re crazy! Why do you do it? Why do you run, anyway?” I usually pick one or more of the following answers:
I like the challenge.
I enjoy running.
My friend talked me into it.
Because I can.
For the T-Rex running form race photos!
I don’t actually know.
But the truth is there is a secret reason that I run, and it has nothing to do with anything listed above.
Before my grandparents were married and even before they started dating, my grandfather was the milkman. Every morning he’d go on his rounds delivering milk, and then he would go for a run through the farms and fields. This was in the early 30’s, way before Adidas and tracksuits in the running boom of the 70’s. He was a cross country runner in the strictest sense. He ran through the countryside just for the joy of it.
Every morning, my grandmother would see him running by out her kitchen window and say to no one in particular, “There he goes again. That man is a runnin’ fool.”
Every time I go for a run, I think of that story. I think it was no mistake that his route took him by her window every day. I think about their enduring love for each other through the ups and downs of their lives. When I run, I am Ray and Evelyn’s granddaughter. I belong to them.
Why do I run? Because I am a runnin’ fool.