My love affair with running has surprised me. When I tentatively dipped my toe into it last Spring, I thought it would be a short-lived thing like so many of my other attempts at “getting more exercise” or “improving my diet”.

But in the eight months since then, I haven’t stopped. Other than an occasional week when I’ve been traveling or getting a little extra rest because I was afraid of shin splints, I have run three or more times a week. I love it. It’s crazy but it’s true.

On mornings when I know I’ll be running, I wake up happy. I look forward to running. I even fantasize about it sometimes when I’m not doing it. Mostly I run outside, but on mornings when it is impossibly cold outside (like this morning) and I’m afraid I’ll freeze my skin, I run at the gym. I ran nearly five miles this afternoon. That’s the best I’ve ever done.

Running is changing me. It’s helping me connect with my body more. It’s helping me make more space for my wandering thoughts and it’s giving me clarity on some of the things I struggle with. It’s making me more alive, more creative, and more energized about life.

When I run, I’m a better writer, a better teacher, a better mother, and a better wife. When I run, my mind is clearer and my heart feels more settled. When I run, I connect with God and my prayer life improves.

I’m not planning on stopping.

Running is changing me.