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by: Anna K., SparkleSkirts Guest Blogger, Gracious Warrior Princess Blogger
I recently had the opportunity to return to my alma mater, Loyola University Maryland, which believes in "cura personalis," Latin for "care of the entire person." I was reminded my education from Loyola cultivated me into the whole person--mind, body, and spirit. The commitment to this is a life of integrity, honesty, discernment, reflection and dedication to the great good, along with intellectual study, social justice and service. Whew! So much to process, right? And what does ALL of that have to do with running?
Running provides me the same thing. Running makes me take care of my entire self. The right amount of sleep, training and nutrition help keep me "whole" and healthy. Running allows me to spend time to reflect and rejuvenate myself.
How many times do you run when you feel like you don't want to run or haven't any energy left to give anyone or yourself? How do you feel when you run on days like that?
I feel refreshed, whole and ready to conquer the world.
How do you feel when you run "naked" without the GPS watch, music, phone or anything else--just run?
I've recently started running once a week without these items and feel alive. I notice the beauty in the world as I run--the flowers blooming, the trees budding, the birds singing. How fresh and new everything appears along with the breath of air as it hits my lungs reminding them how much they like the taste of air and living! There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it is sent away.
When you create a space in running where you feel broken down, it is impressive that you have the strength and transformative power of putting one foot in front of the other and build yourself back up. These are the moments you notice when you run "naked." Running has transformed me into a whole person. Running has allowed me to grow, spread my wings and soar, while giving me the opportunities to allow my alma mater's beliefs to enter more deeply into my life. These are traits not simply inherent but are learned and must be practiced, much like training for a race.
Running has brought friends, adventures, community and happiness into my life. Running has allowed me to give back in ways that I could only imagine--social media inspiration, blog writing, and recently a donation to Girls on the Run. Last summer, when I was diagnosed with uterine cancer the running community embraced me with love and support. Running has allowed me to sprint after my wildest dreams--to be valued, acknowledged, and loved. Running awakened me.