I have a faithful companion who has always been there for me—in times of joy, in times of pain, and in times of wavering doubt. It reminds me of a quote by the American writer Tahereh Mafi: “The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
I’ve struggled with a drug and alcohol addiction for most of my adult life, and that’s been manifest in mental health issues, primarily ignited by childhood trauma. I think it’s safe to say that I’m “cratered by imperfections”, but I wholeheartedly embrace each and every one of those imperfections, as they have been the catalysts that have shown me how resilient and thick-skinned I’ve become.
No matter where life takes me, running has never let me down. What I love most about running is that it only asks one thing of me—simply to show up. It makes no difference whether joy is coursing through my veins, or if sadness is sitting heavy in my heart—As soon as I lace up my running shoes, my faithful companion will travel that path with me. When I step out the door and empty my mind, it’s as though magic or alchemy happens. I typically head out by 4:30 each morning, so I gently trod through a sleepy metropolis bathed in the mysterious moonlight shadow.
With running, like any loving relationship, you get out of it what you put into it. It doesn’t really matter how far you run, or how fast you run. What matters most is that you nourish this relationship by acknowledging that, “running changes everything.” At times it will ask that you dig deeper than you ever thought possible, and at others, it will open your eyes to beauty that lies inside and around you.
To be honest, I’ve never figured out if I’m “running away from something” or “running towards something.” But what I am certain of is that I go to bed each night feeling grateful that my loyal companion has held my hand for yet another day.