Sometimes I sit and wonder if all of us natives were born to run? I’ve been to a lot of Reservations, met a lot of skins here and there and everywhere and the one thing I found that we all had in common is that we are all runners! Not so much the healthy kind like the ones I see running down the road in their spandex and water bottles, no, more so the kind running from yesterday! Running from this moment, from the reality of our individual lives!
Is it because somehow we are taught to be ashamed of who we are? I don’t know! Is it because we are lost and trying to find our way home somehow? I don’t know!
I’ve been running all my life, often on empty!
We all have different ways of running. Some of us drink, some of us smoke, some of us join gangs, some of us are hungry so we run to fill the void within, some of run to forget, some of us run from the law, some of us run from our families and some of us run and we don’t know why, we just do!
Pain is not a weakness! Pain lets us know we are alive! Pain gives us strength if we can stop running from it long enough to learn from it!
I’ve ran my whole life, for different reasons, in different directions and as far or as fast as I ran I found I can never run from myself. Wherever I go there I am.
Today I walk, maybe cause I’m getting older and my knees are shot, or maybe because I’ve realized that life is too short to run everyday. So I walk so I don’t miss out on the things that are important to me, my loved ones, my family, my son. I walk so I can take the time to process the pain I’ve been running from so that I can turn it around and use it for something positive, like getting my act together so that maybe my son won’t have to run like I did, so far away.
I walk so I can take the time to listen to the people, places and things that matter!
I walk because I’m out of breathe from running all the time!
I walk because I want to make a difference.
I walk because I want to enjoy the scenery.
I walk because it’s easier for the most part.
I walk because everything I was running from caught up to me and knocked me on my ass!
I walk because someone needs to set a better pace so we can all relax and take in all the beauty of our lives!
I walk simply because I am tired of running!
By Chad Hiatt Chippewa Cree/Kootenai by blood Human by nature!