You know that no one would think less of you for running inside on a day like this!
It was a message sent with sincerity from a good friend of mine regarding last week’s sudden heat wave. A gesture of kindness and support. But running inside? I would think less of me.
Though I would never look at anyone who chose to retreat indoors when an outside run proves not only risky but downright dangerous, I demand more of myself.
I don’t know what it is that drives me so. I don’t feel the need to impress. Those who are my true friends are proud of me unconditionally. And many, like my aforementioned friend from the above quote, would prefer me to be more judicious in my approach to training.
But I remain steadfast. Stubborn. Passionate.
And while my passion for running continually drives me to strive for better, others may view such staunch resolution as verging on obsession.
But is obsession always a pejorative?
We runners are oft-times called crazy. And yet we runners look at this would-be epithet as the epitome of compliments — a badge of honour we wear with the utmost of pride.
I personally have stared down ice storms, falling trees, blizzards, and asthma attacks in my running. And yet I am far from alone in my pursuit.
Beyond the goals of health and fitness, running is about pushing boundaries and overcoming what once was thought of as impossible. But running can also engender an altered sense of perception. Runners will drive themselves over, through, and beyond incomprehensible obstacles of both an external and internal nature.
Is this admirable? Or is this dangerous?
There are many runners who have faced down more, pushed themselves further and accomplished more than I could ever dream. And so rightly or wrongly, I do not regard my own regime as anywhere close to the limits of what is reasonable and sound.
Yet at the same time I readily acknowledge that if a loved one risked his or her own health and safety for the sake of a run in manners that I have personally undertaken, I would be deeply displeased.
So how much is too much?
How far is too far?
And when does passion — the good, become obsession — the pejorative?