an athlete photographer's blog

Sunny Side Up

You know that part in You’ve Got Mail where Tom Hanks brings Meg Ryan flowers because she’s sick?  During that scene she says, “I love daisies. […] They’re so friendly. Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”

Why, Yes Kathleen Kelly/Meg Ryan, I Do think they are the friendliest flowers. 

The Run
4.46 miles

The Picture

Sunny Side UpThe Recap

I was about 2.5 miles into my run and I had to stop and take some wildflower pictures.  I suppose these aren’t true daisies, but that’s ok in my book.  They look as if they might be saying, “Oh, Hello!” and “Good Morning!”

One of the things I love about Picture Running is that I never know what I’ll find.  It’s like going on a running exploration every time I set out.  Today was my first Real Picture Run in a while!  It was nice running with the pack again and having my actual camera again.  The point and shoot is frustrating because it is so limited.  I think my phone takes better pictures.

This morning was a great run.  I was thinking about a bunch of things and sorting out ideas.  The sky was clear, but I knew from the heavy dew layer the air wasn’t as dry as one would hope.  And when running down the trail with thick foliage on both sides, it starts to feel like running through a rainforest.  But I was out running and I don’t think anything short of an injury would have dampened my spirits.  Actually, I did roll my ankle pretty good at about 0.4 miles in, but it seemed ok so I kept running.  It’s a little sore, but still seems just fine.


But for most of the run I was lost in my own thoughts.

Have you seen the Competitor series on Why I Run?  They go and ask elite runners why they run.  My favorite so far is Lauren Fleshman’s answer.  She said,

I like to say I run because it’s tattooed on my heart, which basically means that it’s a permanent part of me that I one time knowingly put there.  I put it my life, but now I’m stuck with it forever.  I don’t know that I could ever stop.  I love it.

(You can watch her full response here.)

Off and on over the last few months, this question has been dancing in my head while I run.  Why do I run?  My first instinct is to say, I don’t know, I just do.  And then second I want to say, Because it’s fun.  But I feel like those answers lack any true substance and for some reason I feel like I should have an answer to that question.  And then today I started down this devil’s advocate line of questioning myself.

You run because it’s fun.  Ok. Why is it fun?


Is it fun?

Well maybe not fun, but I like it.

Why do you like it?

Because I get to be outside and see things. 

You could do that without running.  Why do you run?

Because it’s hard.  It’s a challenge.  And because I know other people can’t.

Ok, now we are getting somewhere.

And it’s true.  I often think of people I know who want to run, but can’t for various reasons.  This morning I was thinking about my cousin who has leukemia.  I’m too far away to help.  I can’t watch her kids or take her a meal.  But I can pray for her and send her cards.  Being healthy is a gift and so is being healthy enough to run, but with all gifts there is a responsibility attached to it.  Could it be there is a responsibility to run?

Right before I went for today’s run, I was on the phone with my grandma.  We were talking about my grandpa and how his view on life was usually a “cup half empty” sort of outlook, whereas we both are “cup half full” kind of people.  And on many days, my cup is like three-quarters full.  My husband is much more like my grandfather.  I have frequently told him that’s why we’re perfect for each other because my extra bit of optimism and positivity can bolster him up.  It’s not that I look at the world through rose-colored glasses, but instead I find the positive in most situations – Sunny Side Up.

I know lots of people who have a Sunny Side Down sort of outlook.  I often wish I could share my enthusiasm and joy with them.  I want to encourage other people and, if possible, pass on a little bit of my over-inflated Can-Do spirit. I want to say, You can do it!  You just have to try! 

I’m not saying I’m perfect.  I, too, get down-trodden or defeated.  But with running and this blog, I feel like if I can be dedicated, if I can train hard, then maybe in a small way, I can inspire other people.  Maybe in a small way I can share some of my joy.  And where does true joy come from?  It’s not from running or winning or capturing the perfect pictures.  These things are fleeting, but true joy comes from God and having a relationship with him.  He is the one who picks me up when I am down.  He is the one who gives me rest.  And he is the one who says, “Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).

And somewhere mixed into this Sunny Side Up Picture Running life is the reason Why I Run.  I don’t have it all in a neatly packaged answer.  I do run because it’s fun, but what keeps me going on this blog is the idea that it is helping someone besides myself.  I hope so because I’m back here saying, You Can Do It!


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