All things considered, there isn’t much I can control. I have no say in the weather. I can’t break up traffic jams. No one asks for my input on tax policies. 

This isn’t the case when it comes to running. I do have control over my own body. I chose what I eat. I chose what I drink. I chose how to move, and how often. Running is up to me.

The past few weeks have been busy and stressful, and I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. Given how little control I have over outside factors, it’s been even more important to hold on to what I can. When I leave the house with my running shoes, I control each step. I pick the course, I pick the distance. This level of authority is a rare luxury.

Some runs are amazing, and I feel strong and free. Other days I’m sluggish and slow. Neither of these results happens by chance. Successful runs are largely caused by the choices I’ve made, and I can turn around a poor run by making better choices tomorrow.

When it comes to running, I have a choice. I have control. I have agency. And I love it.

Originally published 3/22/13