Yesterday I ran my second 5K. Many of you may find this unimpressive. But running a 5K was something that was on my bucket list, and after checking it off back in September, I decided one wasn’t going to be enough. To tell the truth, I don’t really enjoy the act of running. I actually kind of hate it. But the feeling I get afterward is why I do it. A runner’s high really does exist; of this I am a firm believer.
But isn’t that really the case with any hard thing in life? When you’re in it, up to your elbows, vision blurred by all the things you have to do, you’re unable to see the reward. But, in the end, when you look back on it all, you feel a sense of pride at what you’ve accomplished. You feel glad that you didn’t give up, even though it was hard. You feel that runner’s high.
When I crossed the finish line yesterday, after running significantly faster than ever before in my life, I felt exhilarated. Giddy, even. Sure, I was exhausted, but I could finally see the reason why I had been training for the last three months, why I had been pushing myself to run in the cold, after working for ten hours. It was all finally worth it. That feeling of complete satisfaction lasted me throughout the day. It required a celebratory breakfast complete with mimosas, and then, later, a celebratory dinner, too. I just couldn’t celebrate enough. The whole day ended up being the perfect culmination of the goal. The perfect reward for all my hard work. And, even though that runner’s high could never last long enough, even though today I feel normal again, it was enough to inspire me to get out there and work for it again. To go run some more. Or do some other really had, but in the end so incredibly fulfilling thing. Even though it’s hard in the moment, the reward is worth it. The invincible, in-this-moment-life-is-perfect feeling makes it all worth it.