Wednesday, February 23, 2011
It is cold. I have gloves on, and something to cover my ears. One foot in front of the other, again and again. I run up the hill. Pono is beside me, then in front of me, then he stops to sniff and falls behind. He will catch up; he always catches up. The air is crisp, but there is no wind. One foot in front of the other. Faster now, then slower. I like to vary my pace, to see every now and again what it feels like to go all out. Does it feel like flying? Sometimes. Does it feel like agony? Sometimes. I keep running. I run because I need to breathe hard. I need to feel my muscles working. If I take too many days off from my running, I become sluggish and the stresses seem to build up within me. I run because I like to sweat. I run so my dog doesn't bug me all day with his restlessness. I run.
I don't run every day. I don't run that fast. Sometimes, I don't even go very far. It's just enough to be outside, breathing hard in the outside air. Yet there are times when I feel like I need to run and run and run. I want to push myself really hard, and be tired. I want my legs to ache a little, when I go to bed that night. I want to feel it. I want to feel the sweat as it runs down my face. Maybe it's because I ate too much sugar. Or maybe it is just because life seems so hard sometimes. At least I know when I am running, some of those things that drag me down are being left behind. If I run, I know those things haven't stopped me. If I run fast enough, they can't catch me. It is good to have that feeling, even if it doesn't last. When you come back from a run, you feel light, like you can float.
Once I was running fast in deep sand, and something caught my eye, just for a moment. I tripped, and went down hard. My knee took the brunt of the fall, but I knew better than to look at the damage before I got home. If you see the blood, it hurts more. Did you know that? It's true! If you don't see the blood, you can pretend it isn't there, and you can run all the way home before you sit down and let one single tear fall down your cheek. You fall down, and you get back up. You are injured, but you will heal, and the next thing you know, you are out there running once more.