Run for your children, your sisters and brother. Leave all your loving and longing behind, you can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.
I really want to run. I know, that’s a strange thing to want, but what can I say, I can be a bit strange at times. I use to love running, adore running, I lived for that runner’s high. I use to run day or night, rain or shine, asthma attacks or not. At 17 years old I went from 180 pounds and a size 12, to 145 pounds and a size 6. I didn’t do countless situps, in fact I don’t recall doing a single situp. I didn’t lift weights, I didn’t use a treadmill, I didn’t even have a gym membership until two full years later. I just ran. I ran through the streets of North Portland, I ran through school yards, over freeway overpasses, through parks; I ran in circles through my childhood neighborhood, multiple mile circles. I ran when I was happy, I ran when I was sad, I ran when I was going through the motions of teenage angst.
I miss that; the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long run. The pride I felt as I strolled through the door soaking wet from the all too common Portland rain. I miss the glow my skin had that only comes from a good sweat. I miss the uninterrupted nights of sleep, and the endless energy a daily run gave me. I miss the body that running gave me. The flat (only-when-standing) stomach, the long lean muscles in my legs, the confidence to stand tall and know I looked good.
I moved out, I got a grownup job, I found a new love in the form of blue eyes, freckles, and a smile that made me weak in the knees. I turned 21, I had friends, a social life; I forgot all about my first love, running. Maybe if I hadn’t forgotten about my love of running, maybe life would’ve seemed a little brighter. Maybe.
Now when I try to run I feel like a failure. I start to sweat in my first few strides, my shins cramp up, my heel starts to hurt, my legs start to feel like jello. After only a few blocks I’m pulling on Wiley’s leash trying to get him to stop so that I can take a breath, take a few puffs off my inhaler. The asthma isn’t the problem, I have always had asthma, and I still use to run. I believe experts call my problem being out of shape, and the only way to get out of shape, is to continue on. That, right there, is where I fail. I shouldn’t give up, I know I shouldn’t give up. But I do, over and over again; and then I start over, over and over again. A never ending cycle of I-Can-Do-This and This-Is-Just-Too-Hard.
I need to find the strength to move past the This-Is-Just-Too-Hard. I need to buy better shoes, and some new running capri pants. I need new headphones, new music, and a better Can-Do-Attitude. I mean, I really need this. The problem is, only I can give myself these things. Somehow, I have to make myself do this, and realize that discomfort is only temporary, and eventually I’ll get to my happy place, if only I can endure the failures first.
So I’ll run fast for my mother, so she can be proud. I’ll run fast for my father, so he can be inspired. I’ll run fast for my sisters, so we can celebrate my success together. I’ll run fast for my brother, so he can see me overcome failure. I’ll run fast for the children I don’t yet have, because when I do have them, I’ll really need that energy. It’s time for me to hit the road.