When Running isn’t Just Exercise

RunningI was talking with a friend from Nike last night, and our conversation brought me back to the first time I saw those gorgeous copy-heavy Nike print ads aimed at women in the early 90s. Women portrayed as strong female athletes with something to say, for once.

This poem was inspired by those storytelling ads and the group of women I’ve been running with for almost 20 years. Running isn’t just running to us. It’s the thread that weaves together our life experiences.

We Run
In the dawn we run,
pound our way, panting, ranting
     just eight more miles to go
today, and five tomorrow.
We pass girlfriends with hands
wrapped around steaming lattes,
and faces dancing with conversation
and we say,
            “One day we will walk.”
Today we run, defiantly
Ha! Age will not catch us.
Our knees, still good,
our feet obedient
     just three more miles to go,
and five tomorrow.
We pass women sitting on benches,
happily resting weary bones
and we say,
            “One day we will sit.”
But today we run
      just one more mile to go
and we will rest,
hands wrapped around steaming lattes,
and we will say,
            “Tomorrow we will run.”


KJH, Copyright 2005



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