I like the sound of my breathing when I'm running. It's the sound of a struggle I must overcome. It's the sound of strength.
Last week I had one of the worst runs I've ever experienced. I cannot remember a time when my asthmatic lungs closed up so tightly so quickly. I knew it was a run I should have ended immediately but I just couldn't stop. The only part of my body telling me to stop was my lungs - the rest wouldn't listen. Gasping and hyperventilating, I continued on my way. I ran my entire route scared that I would collapse on the trail. I ran my entire route listening to my labored breaths, wishing all the while that I had a healthy pair of lungs.
I cried when I got home. Partly because of my stupidity, but mostly because I had finished. I realized those gasps for air weren't something to be upset about, but something to be thankful for. While my lungs aren't healthy, they were healthy enough to pull me through that run. While I may have to work harder at my running than others, I am still capable of doing it and that's what I should hear in each inhalation.
Today I had one of the best runs I have ever had. I haven't breathed so deeply or so clearly in quite a while and it felt amazing. Today I didn't even have to think about my breathing, I just breathed. Why wear headphones and miss out on that beautiful sound - the sound that shows me how strong, how alive I truly am.
Take a deep breath for me today and thank your lucky stars that you're able to do so.