By Emily Guajardo |

Just when we started to get along, you began your usual nagging. 

The constant “I’m tired”, “I’m hungry”, “Stop complaining that the ground is too hard”, “This music is way to slow”, “This music is way too fast” really gets in the way of our valuable time together – and that’s because I choose to make time for you. 

My dear, sweet running, I love you too much to let you go a day without quality time with me.

Running, you have been such a friend to me. 

Remember the moments when I was too sad or had too many thoughts racing through my mind? You were always there. You lifted me up. You carried me across the streets, valleys and trails into a euphoric state of mind. You gave me perspective. You beamed my head with streaks of shining oils and cleared my haunting thoughts away. 

Running, you have granted me the power of feeling empowered. 

Whether I was eating a greasy burger, light salad – with loads of dressing – and a cold Coke, you reminded me that everything was going to be okay because, in the end, I had you. You were my coach. You pushed me to gain that extra mile. You motivated me to run if I wanted to eat. You made me the girl who could lose weight and keep it down all at the same time. You became my muse. 

However, you also became my worst nightmare. 

Somehow, in the span of our three years together, you have found ways to hurt me. You’ve caused shearing pains and cramps on my feet, dark bruises wrapped around my ankles, stretch marks that run up and down my inner thighs and even hunch-backing pains from having to carry you for miles on miles. 

You’ve made me wonder if our relationship will even last. 

Don’t you remember the times where you forced me out of my safe, warm bed only to run on the cold, muddy trails of McAllister Park in the middle of January? Don’t you feel bad for making me miss out on the delicious opportunities of eating Chick-Fil-A? Do you ever wonder how much happier I would be if I could just leave you and pick up something else that will cause me less pain? 

I confess, I’ve had other summer flings and never mentioned you once. 

The days when the heat was too much to bear, I didn’t want to ring for you. I didn’t want you to offer yourself to me. I needed a break from you. Your constant “let’s go outside” almost caused me to have a heat stroke. You never once decided to stop your neediness and wonder what I wanted to do. You never realized how much I needed the air conditioning in the summertime. So yes, I did hang out with some of your friends instead. And no, nothing happened between us. Yoga, Cycling and Strength Training only offered their support because they heard about the problems you and I were having. Like I said, nothing serious happened. 

In the end, you know me too well.

You know I won’t leave you. You know I thrive on our constant bickering. You know I love pushing through heart – and back– ache just to reach those nirvana-like moments with you. You know that I feed off our power dynamics every time one of us wants to go the extra mile. 

So, we’ll keep going with our semi-serious relationship. 

Yes, we’ll fight daily on whether I spend enough time with you or not. Yes, we’ll argue on whether my choosing to eat a whole loaf of banana bread is considered “carbo loading”. Yes, we’ll want to end things every single time my body doesn’t want to get up and go somewhere with you. And yes, I might consider seeing other people. 

Running, I will never leave you. So, don’t even think about leaving me. 

You and I are a package deal. You and I are meant to be together. You and I are soul, mind, body, spirit and running mates. 

In your own subtle way, you’ve changed me. 

And I hope that, in some way, I’ve changed your perception of being with someone like me.