Gathering pieces of yourself from the side of the road after the break up: The Running Edition

Gathering pieces of yourself from the side of the road after the break up: The Running Edition

Tonight, I had to either go out for a run, or risk never leaving my bed again.

All my reserves were finally depleted.  All the “ass energy of rage” had been burned off.  All the propulsion from new-life energy had slowed to a stand still. All the spiritual fuel of meditation had been danced. All the zzzz’s from beditation had  evaporated. All six synthetic vitamins from the packets of powdered cheese in my last three boxed dinners had been broken down, and had been sent straight to my liver to be exorcised from my body.  My natural propensity for spazz had even folded its cards. I had to start exercising, again.  I had to jump start my body.

I hadn’t gone running since I started school two years ago, which was right after the break up.  Lately, I have been marveling at the fact that it has been so long, considering how long running has been a part of my life.

To be clear,  I was never a hard core runner. I have never run in a store so the shoe salesman could see my gait. I was never part of track team, and have never run more than five miles at a pop. (Bo-ring) I will probably never train for a marathon.

Come to think of it, “Running” might even be too strong a term. “Jogging” is probably more accurate, but I don’t like “-ogging” words.

  • Blogging = Writing.
  • Jogging = Running

In the  “you guys I’m so fat” days of junior high and high school, I would run around the neglected track at the elementary school down the street a couple nights a week.  I still return to that track on my visits home, and run in the not-hot heat of the Florida dusk. The silence gets jammed with the chorus of thousands of cicadas buzz-sawing their bizarre harmony, loud and invisible in the trees surrounding the quarter mile dust circle.

In college, there was this patch of woods with a running track, and those beat down exercise stations all along the way. (Wooden balance beam! Progressively taller wooden posts sticking out of the ground! Here’s a place to do pull ups!) I used to run there a few times a week. That was also where the practice of “drunk jogging” began.

I didn’t run during my year abroad in the UK, because, well, you know: hills. (Oh, and that full English bar in the lobby of the dorm.)

When I looked for apartments, there was always an eye out for the running “loop” to be had with each location.

Running for me has always been a meditation.  In the center of my Runner’s Head, beneath the heavy breathing sounds, I find solutions, proddings, and new ideas.  Words type themselves out on the movie screen in my head as my feet shuffle along, taking great care to lift themselves high enough above the deceptively dangerous cracks in the  sidewalk to avoid a messy tumble. Those things can take you down to the ground, man. They’ll skin your knees and your palms up real good.

But running had petered out in my most recent Past Life. I once thought it was the result of the aftermath of my “Bucket List of Food” I had created and accomplished (twice) during my pregnancy. Running off the 75+ pregnancy pounds seemed like just too much. After some time and distance, I see now that running was actually another casualty of  “forever.”  Running was another thing that got shaved off to make myself fit into a promise I couldn’t actually keep.

But tonight, running crawled back to me on hands and knees, and begged me to take it back. After a false start, and a change of headphones, I put the latest song obsession on “loop,” and set out on my familiar run.

  •  And the S&C electric company had painted their fence since I last ran.
  • And my chest took it the hardest. (Beating again…beating again…working a little harder than it has in a while…good)
  • And I need better headphones for running.
  • And my neighborhood is still so pleasant on Friday evenings in the summer.
  • And the Crappy-then-Refurbished Dominicks on Ridge seems to be getting crappy, again.
  • And I got some good ideas for future posts.
  • And I worried about how I was going to keep it up when it gets cold again, since the Bally’s down the street closed up, and to me, gyms are horrible, moist places.
  • And I didn’t want tonight’s run to end, because I knew that after tonight, it will just be plain old “running” again, and no longer a “triumphant return.”
  • And it wasn’t that hard to finish the route.
  • And I didn’t flinch as I walked back into the apartment.
  • And the X didn’t have to flinch because I was back.

It was an amazing run.

Thanks for reading. Carry on...

Old Single Mom

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