Sunday, August 01, 2010

Saved

Caught during a walking moment-- I'm still a beginner


My view as I ran on the waters by Ketchikan

I think that running just may save me.

I remember a conversation with a close and wonderful friend of mine wherein we discussed how long it might take for me to really love running. We speculated that if I was lucky, it might take only a few months, but more realistically it might take up to a year or more. I remember nodding thoughtfully and preparing myself mentally for a long introduction to running.

I have so far not had to wait for the love to come however, it blossomed immediately. In fact, running and I have developed quite the satisfying love affair. I need running, and it gives to me freely. I'm not sure what I do for it in return, but as it is difficult to carry on a meaningful conversation with running, I'll just have to assume it's being taken care of.

I have an intimacy with each inch of ground that my feet have met: the neighborhood that I had my very first official run, and later my very first official barefoot run which made me leap and dance and laugh; The outdoor track on my Alaskan cruise ship (depicted in picture above), where I ran while on water with beautiful Ketchikan as my backdrop; The Provo River Trail behind my house where I bravely took my first run in public, and where I ran my first full mile without stopping to walk, and where I meet all sorts of lovely people for a smile and make eye contact with the cars I pass, and try to outsmart the sprinklers to save my hair.

I wait through mundane tasks and lazy days and occasionally, stress builds up and my spirit falls low and in my head I can hear Queen singing "I want to break free" and that's when I know that I'm a ticking time bomb and I had better get out and run or I may blow. Last Thursday was such a night for me, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with my family with thoughts of running marching through my brain, and after dinner I went to a store or two to wait out digestion, but my muscles were twitching and my fingers were drumming, and I could barely wait to get in the house before I started ripping my clothes off and digging for my running shorts. I was out of the door before I could even untangle my earbuds.

It might be difficult to explain what I feel when I close my front door behind me and set out on my trail-- my brain is in a frenzy of excitement and the blood rushes to each of my extremities as I warm up. By the end of my run, I can hear my breathing pound out of my chest and the tap of my feet against the pavement, and a smile breaks loose from my lips that I can't hold back. I'm grinning and giggling and I want to scream happy screams at each passer-by (I don't though, because I'd hate to give someone a heart attack). And just like that, my spirit is mended.

Yes, running might just save me. It might just save my spirit from disease and my body from old age and my muscles from atrophy, and when I'm 90 years old, you can bet I'll still be running.