Happy Sunday – on a Saturday. I am writing today because tomorrow I’m proud to say that I will be running my 12th marathon – my favorite marathon – the 2014 NY City Marathon. I often get asked why I run. My boy addiction directly connects to why I run, so on the eve of my run I wanted to explain how running contributes to my healing process. I will be lying low today, turning my clock back tonight for my extra hour of sleep and waking at 4 a.m. to do what I love – RUNNING!
I am sitting here watching my favorite show, Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday” and she has a lovely Buddhist woman on named Pema Chodron who just stated, “I no longer have that need to be confirmed from someone on the outside.” WOW! That is powerful stuff and that is why I am writing today – no coincidences.
When I crossed the finish line of my very first marathon in 2010, I had two powerful thoughts enter my mind immediately. The first was tremendous gratitude for God and his granting of my ability to cross that line after 26.2 miles. The second was pure joy – the instant desire to “do it again”. In that moment, I realized that my crossing the finish line had absolutely nothing to do with a boy. I finally realized that my desire and talent to run is MINE ALONE! I knew that all of the training and hard work I put in to cross that line was mine and mine alone. No boy has ever said, “Hey Leslie, run with me.” I get up almost daily at 5:30 a.m. to run – a desire that comes from me and me alone.
My passion for running has been in my soul from a very young age. My mother will tell you, “As soon as Leslie could walk, she would rather run.” She knew I was coming down with fever/sickness as a child because she said she would watch me “run and run and run” around the house. When I would “drop” to the floor, she knew I was getting sick.
As I got older, as soon as I could join a sports team, I joined the track team in middle school. I tried to be a sprinter, but to no avail! I had absolutely no talent to run fast, so I just ran further. In High School, I joined the cross-country team to go the distance and make new friends as I was new to the town (we moved from NY to CT). I met my best friend and my boyfriend being a part of that team. The cross-country and track teams were a very important part of my world and my social life as a teen. I continued to run for recreation even in my adult life. 3-4 miles was typically my “max”.
When I suffered a very difficult marriage/divorce at age 37, I lost 60 pounds and kept running further and further. I reconnected with a great boy I had met in college and I thought he was “the one” who would make me into the wife and mother I expected to be. Additionally, when I was with him, I began running half marathons. He really encouraged my passion. At Christmas, instead of the engagement ring I expected from him, he gave me my very first runner’s watch – which I adore to this day! After a very devastating break up with him, it has been “game on” ever since. I have been able to make my “distance running” worthwhile for the universe by raising over $10,000 for very wonderful non-profits who give to improving humanity. Thank you to those who have donated and continue to donate! A true blessing.
When I decided to begin writing, I knew my topic needed to be “boy addiction” and my healing from it. No one person can “complete me”. My journey (my long run) on this earth is to heal myself and give love to those who are seeking love and purpose. I have countless runners in my life I connect too and am able to help (and they help me). The energy is symbiotic. The energy is amazing. The energy is pure love.
This is why the NY Marathon is my favorite of all time. The “people energy” I receive from the million plus spectators cheering for me as I run my 26.2 is almost indescribable. It feeds my passion and I am forever grateful. And I am forever grateful to you. My dedicated readers who keep me writing…and I promise you, I plan to keep running. As long as God continues to bless my body.