Sometimes it seems like my whole life is about running, but I believe running is about my whole life.

I have discovered, along with millions of others, the amazing benefits of exercise and pushing my own body’s limits. It’s not about the race – not about winning or achieving a personal best. It’s about the process of getting there. The training and preparation routine affords countless opportunities to reveal and respond to stresses that keep me from living my best life.

Stored-up hurts become undeniable as the layers of junk that have hidden them for years begin to melt away – it’s like sunshine streaming into a dark, forgotten room and lighting up everything in a warm glow. The unseen monsters that lived in the blackness come into focus slowly, until I’m standing there, surrounded by familiar clutter.

While I’m running, I begin to sort through the mess on auto-pilot.

Sometimes I cry for no apparent reason on the road, and sometimes I feel a wave of exhilaration; I suspect I’m letting go of a few things, making peace with others, and tucking the rest away safely for another day. The past is packed up with today’s emotion.

More and more of my Self is being revealed. My body physically clears the clutter and keeps what it needs for the journey, while my spirit does the same for my soul. Every mile takes me closer to Truth. My mind is still somewhat untamed, but the rhythmic lull of the run soothes and rocks it to sleep for awhile so my energy can remain focused on recovery.

Break it down and build it up – stronger, leaner, better. The essence of training.

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