Dimity and I had the pleasure of meeting Renee Ross after we gave a talk at the Nike Women’s Marathon Expotique last year. Her exuberance about running her first half-marathon was palpable and infectious. This mom of one son started running in 2001 but 2010 was her big year, her “year of my journey of healthy living.” She shed 50 pounds, primarily by exercising in her home in Georgia, but then she ventured outside to run. This year she took on five more half-marathons, and she has her sights set on doing 10 halfsies. Renee told us she runs for bling, but as this poem shows, she gets something out of the race itself, not just the finish-line goods. Find Renee on her eponymous blog, reneejross.net, and on Twitter.
The wind kisses my cheeks gently as I careen downhill.
A stranger screams “keep running!” in a syncopated rhythm
that stays with me for the duration of my race.
Air inhaled and exhaled through my mouth invigorates me.
The silly smile plastered on my face tickles me.
And the joy of crossing the finish line enables me.
This is why I run.