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    It such a complex question that seems so simple to answer, but running means different things
    to me at different times. When I am stressed out with my everyday life…work, kids,
    family…running is my stress reliever. I don’t have to think or plan, I can just get on the trail and
    go. Just run, and not think about anything at all. I can get into a rhythm with my breath, in-out,
    in-out…and suddenly I am carefree. I am not tied down by life. Other times, when I am sad or
    angry, I can push the pace…I run until I am completely worn out. The feel of my heart pounding
    in my chest, my lungs burning, gasping for more oxygen…sometimes tears follow. Sometimes a
    loud roar erupts from my mouth. Either way, the run has helped me deal with the demons of
    that day. Then there are the days with fresh fallen snow or a quick summer down pour and I
    feel like a kid again. I put my running shoes on and go play. I take in everything around
    me…the smell of wet earth, the cool rain drops on my skin, the sound of new snow under my
    feet…I am alive! Other times I need to think, I need to reflect, I need to plan, I need to dream
    big, set a new goal…some of my best and possibly worst ideas have come to me on a run. With
    a fresh mind, comes brilliance…sure a 50 mile race sounds like a delightful way to spend a day!
    Running is social and makes my tribe strong. No matter what the pace or the route, friends
    who run and dream with you make it all the sweeter. We encourage each other, we dream
    together, our connections grow stronger, and we help each with bad decision making…a 200
    mile, 6 person relay, in temperatures topping out at 117…when do we leave?
    Running grounds me. It ties me to the earth. It rewards me with places that are beautiful and
    breath taking. It humbles me with a swift gut punch when I get too confident. I will run until I
    can physically no longer run. When that time comes, I will look back on my life and be ever
    grateful for what running has given me.