December 16, 2014

Run Baby Run

It's been interesting for me to see what keeps popping up on the blog, the topics I return to again and again: writing and places and spaces, colors and lists, tiny moments from the everyday. For whatever reason, though, I never wrote about running. Well, I used to be an avid jogger. I'm not an athlete but running was a big part of my life when I was 18, 19, 20..the center of my sanity, really. Those great moments..went to sport track every evening (that's where I met Ifo for the first time. Hah.) and ran like my whole life depends on it. But then I went to college and stopped going to track even it's just few minutes walking from my hostel.

I believe that sports were the relief of the day, the cutting loose after hours and hours spent sitting at a desk. But I don't really do sports, so I turned to running. Well now I'm not an overly enthusiastic runner. Not really a consistent one, either. Because, well, let's face it: some days it's just not happening. Some days, sleep feels better than any run ever could. But when those days turn into weeks, that's usually a sign of my disposition and I can say with confidence that running is the marker of my state of mind.

When I look back on the roughest patches of my life, the times that I lost myself, or someone else, I realize that running was absent. Whether it's because I didn't have the energy, or the time, or the drive, it just didn't happen. As soon as my feet hit the pavement again, things began to turn around, each and every time.

If I had to say why I love running, if I had to explain what it does for me, I think it has something to do with the memories it carries. When I run, I sometimes feel a bit like a kid again. Like I might be part of a police-and-thieves game, or playing tag, or on the soccer field. My senses bring me back to those moments: steady breathing, aching legs, sweaty face. I love running because of this: for once, and for one heavenly hour of my day, my mind moves from the mental to the physical. I stop worrying, stop over-thinking, stop planning and re-planning, stop making mental lists of everything under the sun.

Instead, I listen to my breath. The pounding of my feet. My heartbeat. And it's listening to my own heart, I think, that saves me, that brings me back to myself. It's the only thing that keeps me present. And isn't that the best way to be?

Since I've got a pair of new shoes (thanks, bae), I've been running a lot. I'll take that as a good sign. So let's run.

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