Why Grandma (Choochie*) Runs

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On this day of unbridled amore, I offer my lifelong love affair with running…

As a runner who’s been running longer than most of you have been alive, I frequently get asked why I run.  Grandma runs, y’all.  (* or Choochie, as I’m called of late…is this the name that’s gonna stick?!)

Folks who know me assume it’s because I love to eat cake.  Lots and lots of cake.  Folks who don’t know me, but have seen my facebook posts of cake, assume it’s because I love to eat cake.  Lots and lots of cake.

That’s only partially true.

I’ve been running since I was 10-years-old.  After training for the Little Olympics in 6th grade, I started purposely running because it got me out of the house and allowed me time to think and be, but mostly it allowed me a freedom of spirit and soul I didn’t know existed until I started running.

I continued to run into my teens, even though it was the 70s and running in West Texas was considered odd behavior.  I was more myself when out on the streets than any other time.  I was safe and strong and me.

I ran through my pregnancy, even though it was the 80s and people yelled at me on the streets because they thought I was injuring my unborn child. (I should have had a shirt that said: MY DOC OK’D THIS RUN!)

I ran through the 90s and finally folks started to get it and dare I say some of them understood it.  She’s a runner.  Like that explained everything.

I ran through the New Millennium, the beginning of the 21st Century, and was joined by so many of you.  We runners were becoming a friendly pack, always ready to encourage and welcome a new member.

I suffered a significant injury in the late fall of 2013 that forced me to stop running.  The time off has allowed me to look back and reevaluate some things and to reaffirm others.

I’m hoping my injury heals soon.  When it does, I’ll continue running on.  For the same reasons.  And a few new ones, as I enter unknown territory as an older woman and the changes that it brings (Oh, stop it!).

Running is my sacred escape, a solitary exercise in strength and peace and finding my way, even after all these years.

I run for me.  I compete against me.  It’s a renewal of spirit and soul each time I tie my shoes and hit the road.

I am capable.  I am strong.  I am determined.  I am a runner.

Why Grandma Runs

What about you?  Where do you find your strength?





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  1. I love to run too, although I have been totally slacking since I got pregnant and had my baby. I am hoping to start back up this weekend. Jogging was such a great stress reliever! Good for you for running during your pregnancy! I had so many excuses not to run, but it’s soooo good for you!

    • It was years and years and years ago, but I was cutting edge, baby! Lol! I’ve been injured since late last fall and I am praying this injury resolves itself in the next month or so. Choochie needs a run!

  2. I started running last year and though I now longer hate it I still can’t say I enjoy it. I’m keeping at it though in hopes that some day I’ll love it as much as you do.

    • One day…I’ll let you in on a runner’s secret: most of us hate it. Not all the time. Like not when you need to show up at a party and you’re in *that* dress looking, well, dang those miles have worked!, but sometime when you’re tired and you don’t want to get out there…again…that’s when we hate it. So, in my book, you’re a normal runner! Welcome to the I hate/love running club!

  3. I wished I loved running, sigh. I do like kickboxing though!

  4. I have always wanted to be a runner – it seems so thrilling to me to just take off and run. It looks super easy when I see others running, but straight up: I stink at it! I run like a weirdo! I have terrible form, sort of like an elephant trying to salsa dance. I was pretty serious about really trying to run last year, but my knee swelled up like a cantaloupe. I’m pretty sure I’m not meant to be a runner lol. But I still love watching others run. 😀

    • LOL! Is it anything like THIS? While some folks have a hard time running, I have issues with walking (no lie!). Running is a much more natural gait for me. I guess we all have something.

  5. I love to walk. In decent weather, I walk my dogs. When it’s too dangerous to be outside, I use my Walking Off The Pounds DVD.

  6. Love this post! I was a runner for many years through pregnancy, rain, sleet, hail and snow but my hip just couldn’t take it as I got older, Now I am a swimmer. The older I get the more I value how staying active keeps me young in mind and spirit as well. What I love the most is the ability to close down the messy mind , which is normally spirally out of control with all the things I want to do versus all the things I must do. Alone with our body in action we can calm down and breath!
    So happy to read your post. Well written with heart….. my favorite kind.
    All the best for a glorious day! Run girl Run!

    • Omgosh, I love a comment that gets me. You get me…you really get me! Since my injury last fall, I have been biking, but it doesn’t get me to the point where I can leave the million thoughts/needs for the day behind. I’m missing that as much as the physical run. My husband is a walker that wants to swim, but there isn’t a place close by for that.

      Thank you so much for coming by and reading. Swim on!

  7. P.S, Pinned to our Life Inspired Board. 🙂

  8. Hi! I just saw your post over at Kathe’s linky party and had to comment. I truly identify with you… well, everything that has to do with running as an older woman (soon be 53). I just decided this morning to be up by 6 a.m. and dressing to run/walk by 7 a.m. each morning, Monday through Saturday.

    In the summer of 2012 I started the “Get Running” and ran rain or shine here in Manila, Philippines where we live. Then weddings and traveling, traveling, traveling! got in the way! We’ll be doing even more traveling this year, but I feel committed to 30 minutes of outdoor activity on my legs and feet six days per week!

    Thanks for the encouragement,

    • I loved reading this. GO, KELLEY! Getting outside every day makes such a difference in our well-being. Here’s to a healthy 2014!

  9. Oh I love this. I ran through my pregnancies too. I had a heart rate monitor with the first one and the nurse asked me about my running and completely scolded me for going over the “acceptable” heart rate during a race and made me feel horrible. But I was talking to people the entire time I was running. My doctor told me to stop wearing the monitor…if I could talk, I was fine!

    • That’s the gold standard to me: if you can carry on a conversation, maybe not in an easy going way as if you were seated, you are doing just fine. Thrilled your doc gave you that advice.

  10. I am not built for running. I am prone to injuries but walking, I am all over the walking…and swimming…and (light) weight lifting. I have always been a little envious of runners though. It seems like such freedom.

    • Most runners will tell you that they have a love/hate relationship with running. Husband and I laugh because I look completely goofy walking…WALKING!…but running I can handle.

  11. I run mostly because I love to eat and need to work off those extra calories! After a winter of too many snow days I’ve realized that I can’t wait to get out and run again! I love the quiet time and accomplishment I feel after a run.

    • I also run because I love to eat. My downfall are sweets. Since my October injury, I am sooo ready to get back out on the streets. (that sounded bad!)


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