It’s been a strange couple of months. The world as we know it has gone into lockdown and our days have been occupied with thoughts of COVID-19 and for many of us it has changed our lives.

No longer are we working from the same premises, or for some, working at all. And no longer do our days look the same. We are navigating working remotely, home schooling children while working remotely, facing reduced hours, or new jobs, or no jobs, or uncertainty around our employment.

Our running journey’s have taken a sudden turn.

The events we looked forward to on our race calendar are gone, cancelled or postponed, or for some ‘uncertain’ to return, perhaps later in the year…perhaps not.

Our days at first may have been a little bit of a blur.

For so many of us the next “event” or “race” was what kept us motivated and going. Our running journey, laced with intrinsic measures of performance and success most often was culminated by the celebration of an events finish line. We worked tirelessly towards the goal, inching closer and closer every week to that moment where we would either succeed or succumb to the result determined by the training done, to the training we lacked.

The Camaraderie of the running community was felt on our spirit as we gathered in mass on the streets, trails or tracks across the world month after month. Lycra-clad individuals, with the latest gadgets, sporting the sleekest shoes, many with miles and miles of sweat and tears tread into their soles ready to give it their all through the glory of the run. But then, it was all gone.

What now?

Well it caused us to reflect. Why do we run?

We run because there is something deep inside that gets us out the door. The internal drive we have that wants us to feel something, experience something and learn something about who we are.

We run because we can connect with others, and ourselves, push each other to our limits that we didn’t even feel were possible. Support each other and know that the tribe has our back.

We don’t need mass events to teach us the lessons that we are already learning through our footsteps. We just need to keep showing up.

So keep lacing up the shoes, seek new adventures around your block, on your trails, through your streets and at times of day you may never have experienced. Keep the run alive. Keep the momentum going. Keep showing up.

The running world has pivoted. For now, the void that the lack of events has created has been filled with the community gathering of virtual ones, challenges within running communities, friends and support networks, because really what we desire most in these moments, in all moments, is human connection.

We still have that.

Let’s keep connecting, inspiring and building on the lessons that running has taught us so that when or if we return to life as we knew it, and the cheer of the finish line is heard again, we will remember how strong we were when the finish line seemed so out of reach.

Nicole Bunyon