I learned a long time ago that runners seeking out a high between splits know a whole world of crazy that non-runners never venture to explore. They run because they feel the crazy every day and they work to sweat it all out and wash it away in a flood.

I have known crazy. I have known depression. I have met manic and bipolar. I have walked insomnia. I have felt heartache and all its fury. I have experienced mental illness and borne the burden of carrying its guilt and shame on my shoulders as I strive for perfection in myself and the world I see when I’m awake.

So I run too.

I have run to shape my body to please magazines. I have run to please men. I have run to prove my worth. I have run to hide. I have my hiding places. There I am a runaway and runaways are always a little lost. They run until they are found, like sheep waiting on a shepherd to guide them someplace familiar.

I have run from my body. I have run from men. I have run from my identity. I have run to quiet places where I crave to be seen.

But hiding gets you nowhere and the running that leads to a hiding place is fruitless. This running is maniacal, it is the definition of crazy, a box for the girl spending her days in padded rooms.

Every day I fight those words that tell me to run from things, to let fear drive me. Some days I am weak and surrender. I let the fears walk through me and I become their vessel. I become empty.

But when I do fight, it’s never alone. My Savior is my running buddy. He urges me to run for purpose. For freedom. For joy. For life. With Him as my trainer I take to a path. I stop to pause and listen. I welcome the sun and the rain. I break for the praise and the dance. The switch in pace reveals that I am not a runner and I am not a runaway. I am not what I do.

I don’t run to things or away from them, I run just to be. It’s just part of living. It’s fighting, it’s soaring. It’s breathing and beating, a musical rhythm. It is a song I will live by.

Call me crazy, but running for the day leaves just enough crazy to know a life that spills out beautiful and brave.


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