I mostly run alone for a lot of reasons – some time to be quiet and reflect, the ability to be distraction free and observe the world around me, the chance to run as fast or slow as I want depending on how I feel that day, and the focus it creates for me on being my best regardless of what is going on around me.
Partially because I run alone, I also enjoy races. I don’t run races every month, let alone every weekend, but I try to make them a regular part of my running life. Being Together with other runners reminds me that I’m not insane – that others value testing their bodies this way. I enjoy running in races because the conversation and camaraderie with other runners on the course is fun and engaging; it inspires me to keep going sometimes or speed up sometimes. Running in a race is so different than my daily running alone, that I get a lot of enjoyment from it and make it a priority.
Life is the same way. I have to do a lot of things alone and I choose to spend other time alone. A lot of my work, whether it be from my home office or on the road traveling to be with a client, involves being alone. I used to dread this, felt like I always needed people around me. Now, I enjoy it, even savor it, because I recognize the value of being alone. Being alone and quiet in life has become something I prioritize and work to make a part of my life, for much the same reason that I run alone.
Most importantly, being alone in my daily life creates a greater appreciation for times I get to be together with my family and friends. The picture above is from our family visit to the US National Whitewater Center’s Green River Revival for St. Patrick’s Day and it was great to be completely focused on that time together, enjoy the conversations with my kids, and share in some pure fun. I’ve had some great opportunities recently to see friends that I don’t see very often and those times together have made me more appreciative and thoughtful of them when I’m alone.
I look forward to my alone time this week and I’m also looking forward to some upcoming “Together Times” with my family and friends. BOTH are valuable parts of a healthy life and must be protected and prioritized.