rule breaker


Running rule #1: Alone can be good.  Alone can be better.  And when it comes to running, alone can be soulful and healing.

A brilliant guy I know (who also happens to be a phenomenal, natural-born, never have to work at it runner) told me that years ago.   I hate this rule.  I want to love it, I want to embrace it, to incorporate it – but, I struggle.

And yesterday, right around mile eight, when I was wallowing in my thoughts, my hurt and my loneliness, his voice echoed in my head.  So, I did the one thing that you are NEVER supposed to do while training.

I stopped.

I sat down and cried.

On the side of the road.  In broad daylight.  Certainly the many cars driving by wondered whether they should stop  – my racking body and snot-covered gloves must have scared them away.  I mean, who wants to get involved in that kind of emotional mess.  Leave that poor thing alone.

I cried because I was being forced to answer the question I was repeating over and over while trying to gain my composure on the side of the road…

Why am I doing this???

Five minutes went by until I was able to pull it together.  I stood up.  I took off.  And I spent the next six miles answering to myself.

I run to give myself an outlet.  To get rid of the pent-up emotion that is so often stifled.  To create pain that I can alleviate myself.  To set goals that I can attain on my own.  To succeed on a daily basis so that I want to do it again.  To fail on a daily basis so that I have to do it again.

And that is what I needed to remember: if success is good, then maybe failure is better?  We can all set a goal, reach it and feel good.  Accomplished.  But, undoubtedly, there is a voice deep within us that is whispering about what it was that we really wanted/wished to do, right?   Despite our success, something nags at us, forcing us to go out there, again and again and again.

I am not very good at following “plans” (I can’t even follow a recipe without changing it).  I have never adhered to a training plan; I like to tweak it.  I hate to be a slave to the black and white, I like to follow the whims of my creation.  And it works for me; but it leaves me feeling a bit of a failure.  Which, apparently, I need – I would have probably stopped running a long time ago had I aligned myself with the training rules.

Bending the running rules has given me a great deal of insight into myself. I love seeing others succeed, and had I followed the training plan, I would have missed out on a lot of these moments.  I love the high that accompanies a good run and I like feeling good when I run; I don’t want to make myself sick, I don’t want to spend the rest of my day in misery, so I back off.  I enjoy myself.  I break the rules.

I am not a rule-breaker by nature.  No one would ever describe me as rebellious.  I run because it allows me to go against the status quo. To succeed against the odds.

We are all running.  We are all racing according to our own rules.

And rules are good.

I just like to break them.


3 Responses to “rule breaker”

  1. Wow! Awesome post. I must admit…I love to run alone…LOVE. For all those reasons you stated above.
    Great read! I enjoyed it a lot!

  2. 2 Jessica Bradshaw

    Don’t ever stop writing. This is what you were meant to do…in some form or another. I sobbed while reading “Valentine’s Day.” I know Trevor did to. We all need time to vent, and girl I am here for you whenever you need it. Sleep is good…I will keep your precious angels whenever you need it.

  3. 3 Mary Ann Long


    I love your postings and tonight’s reminded me of well me, and how I approach lots of things. I never say I cannot, but on the other hand, I don’t always follow all the specific rules of accomplishing most of the things I challenge myself with. Life would probably be a lot easier if I did. Keep running!!!


    Mary Ann

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