Tomorrow morning my alarm will go off at 8:27, or maybe 8:13 if I plan ahead to snooze. Fridays are an hour later than every other weekday, but it'll still feel early. And when that alarm goes off and I lie deep within my warm cocoon, my mind—suddenly the great debater—will list off reason after reason why I should stay in bed for 45 minutes longer. But just like every other day, I'll roll myself out of bed (quite literally), strap on my shoes, and hit the pavement.
I run not because I always want to, though I often do. I run not for some time goal or distance goal or race goal, though those things do make it fun.
I run instead for the rhythm. For the one-foot-in-front-of-the-other beat on the sidewalk, and the symphony that forms with my heart and my breath. I run to feel the cold air rushing into my lungs and the morning sun warming my skin. I run to get lost, then to get found, and to find something else along the way. I run for the little extra spring I get when scaling the subway steps later that morning, and for the bit of soreness that reminds me self-reflexively why it's there. I run to make the world seem brighter, and to brighten myself for the world.
I choose to run because it reminds me that I have that choice.