Alright. Here goes my attempt at writing about my increasingly popular, albeit often misunderstood passion.
Underwater basket weaving.
I’m not a very strong swimmer.
What I am actually referring to is running.
I’ve run on and off for a few years now but I’ve recently started taking it seriously. I use the word seriously lightly to differentiate between:
-the time two years ago when I would run two miles twice a week so that I’d feel accomplished and that I could announce to the world my seemingly accurate potential of being a future Olympian.
-now when I run not only to stay in shape but to feel the challenge, pain and thrill of racing.
The love I have for running is something that I wrestle with, adore, hate, wonder at and ultimately have slowly but surely learned to embrace.
I’ve realized though that my desire to run isn’t fueled by cool Nike products or free refreshments at local 5ks, but instead seems motivated by something larger: the Pacific Northwest.
It’s no secret that Oregonians like to run. If you take a walk around Portland, you’ll find more people wearing neon reflective clothing than in an 80’s wardrobe. There’s just something about Oregon that had a way of turning me toward the addicting activity, like it was a hobby for a prestigious, exclusive club.
I’ll try to steer away from writing about running too much but I should confess that I’m really quite the expert on running compared to my knowledge of the Blazers or Timbers. And don’t we have a hockey team too?
Just kidding, again. My sports knowledge isn’t that bad.
Still, it’s easier to write about something that I’ve grown passionate about. I feel there is just something about Oregon, or the Pacific Northwest for that matter that has me taken into the joy of running. Maybe it’s the natural beauty surrounding us, or all the running events where we join together like crazy neon, large-calved maniacs.
Every day seems to pass slower until the next race...
I’m blessed that as I learn to run, I am surrounded by more crazy runners of the Northwest.
Whatever the reason: because we love it, because we want to be fast, we want to be skinny, we like the quiet time, we thirst for the social aspect, the sweat, to hear our hearts pound, to dominate the impossible, because it’s more enjoyable than laundry, because we want to force ourselves to love the rain, to prove something. Whatever the reason, it’s evident.
We run here.
It’s just what we do.
North of us can have their hockey, the east can have their baseball but there's no denying Oregon’s passion toward running.
Maybe there’s a significant reasoning behind this. Maybe we can’t explain it.
Maybe I’m energized by the way my toes twitch eagerly when I see the perfect running trail, the feeling of tranquility against the waterfronts, or the feeling of intense adrenaline lined up at the starting line in the midst of Portland.
Preparing for races, and as I continue on my own journey learning to love running, I’ve realized that I wouldn’t feel the same passion and thrill just anywhere. The Pacific Northwest adds a beauty in the sport that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
Whatever that quality is, it’s a wonderful thing. In the Pacific Northwest, we believe in running. After all, we’re all just one big, weird, carbo high community in it together for the long run.