I’m not much into competition, but I won today and I feel like celebrating while the win lasts. Therefore, this post.
Going to and from work today took a long time. 85 minutes there. 110 minutes back. Dark when I left and dark when I got home. Not pleasant. I was frustrated about this when I got home, frustrated because it’s supposed to rain tomorrow and I hate running in the rain, which meant I had to run today. In the dark. Again.
So I compromised. I talked myself into a short run. Less than 30 minutes. Less than 4 miles.
Fine. If you say so.
And then I did two things that made a huge difference.
- I wrote to a friend, “I’m having such a hard time.” I said a few other things, too, but admitting that I am struggling took a weight off my shoulders that I didn’t even know I was carrying. I have talked openly about this to a few people recently, but felt physically better today.
- I swapped motivational workout messages with another friend before heading out for said workout. And took a picture of my fun neon clothes. Now I had to make those clothes worth something.
I got outside, started my watch, and flew.
For the first time in months, I was running for me. For me. Not out of anger or frustration. Not out of incompetence or inadequacy. Not away from something or towards something else. Not letting various narratives play out in my head. Just running.
For the first time in months, I didn’t pause to stare into the East River and think about how deep the water is. I didn’t look up at the bridges and think about how high they are.
I just ran.
Song in my head? “Jessie’s Girl.” That one has come up before, but I haven’t heard it in a while. I’ve always enjoyed that song. I used to listen to it thinking about how lucky that girl was to be so loved.
But tonight was different.
Tonight I thought about all the women I am so lucky to know who are so loved by so many. I thought about how beautiful they are, in all the ways. I thought about everything I admire in these women, as individuals and collectively. I was overcome with pride at having such people in my life, people I try to emulate.
I ran feeling good, happy, and whole for the first time since this nightmare began a few months ago.
I didn’t look at my watch until I got back and yes, the run was quick.
But it doesn’t even matter.
Demons, I beat you today.
And I will carry this torch with me into tomorrow.