I don’t believe in the merits of constant motion, as one needs to settle into oneself in order to exist, set down roots, and build a home. Yet I do love travel. I adore running. And I think that with the right amount of balance, and of course, attention to limbs and feet and the weather, it is possible to keep running without escaping from something.
There is something profoundly amazing about moving under one’s own strength, one stride after another across sidewalks, roads, bridges, and down bike lanes, watching just a little bit ahead to ensure smooth passage over debris or feet. Tripping over can prove disastrous; I have been injured before, and I had to made an urgent care visit because I crashed and landed my finger, cell phone protected underneath. My pinky was turned into something better suited to Halloween than a 3-mile run. The horror came with the blood, and the shock set in with the terror that something bad had happened and I couldn’t fix it myself.
They’ll give you the “good” drugs for that, but I’m the kind of person who would rather be sentient than medicated, although numbing the pain is, at times, necessary for survival and presence. Vicodin does nothing for me. Why blur the edges of an experience, only to still feel the throb and the ache and the fear of an injury?
Yet despite the fall, and the following time away from running, and the wrong shoes I picked out for a while – I was told I had “the wrong” biomechanics to be a runner (note: I never went back to that doctor) – I started again. First, it was really kind of shit jogging, to be honest. I could blame the humidity, the recent trauma, the old shoes, and the fear of an old injury coming back to cause some serious, irreparable problems. Then I started running further, shuffling most of the time, but it was a bit quicker than walking alone.
One day, I chose to simply run.
The next, I sprinted – in intervals, mind you – but my legs finally felt like they were moving correctly, fully extended, stretched out.
It’s taken a long time, and I never thought it would happen again, but I ran six and a half miles. I’m thinking about a half marathon – the first of many. And I don’t know how it’s going to feel, but I know that I will be able to keep running, breathing, moving, and existing.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”