Today is Christmas and I am at home with my parents and my brother. It is this time of year where I feel the most disconnected and lost. Every year the holidays come, and they screw with my diet, my body, and my routine. Maybe if I had children I could see Christmas being worth all of this hassle, but truthfully all of the abuse that Americans put their bodies through during this time of year confuses me. This year I have decided to go for a long run, and enjoy a nice runners high.
So I drive into town and hit the high school track. My shoes have begun to wear through and running on pavement just seems really unappealing. It is cold out, and there is some water and snow on the track. My hometown is a pretty desolate place and during this time of year the highways, sky, and roads, have taken on a grayish blue tinge. Every now and then pick up trucks and semis will pass by and stare at me as I lap the track. My goal is ten miles, which is 40 laps. For the most part it is just me, the track, and my old high school.
As I run I begin to think about the girl that I was back then and how far I have traveled. That girl had bad skin, poor self esteem, and a soft teenage body. She played basketball, but hated the running. That girl, who I no longer am, would never have ran a mile, much less ten miles. How did I become this person who loves to run, who doesn't feel sane without a couple miles under her shoes? How do any of us change like that?
My mp3 player hums and burns in my ears. It has become my heartbeat, and my shoes move as if to the volition of this music. To further tune out any distractions I am wearing my new sunglasses, and through them I dissipate. This is what running does for me: It makes me feel like water, like air, and I float.----I disappear. Life is supposed to be painful, and hard. It is supposed to change you. Life is trans-formative and that growth is the most wonderful thing that we as human beings can experience.
Maybe it is the oxygen pounding in my muscles, the flow of endorphins through my brain, or my blood, immediate and overwhelming, moving inside my heart, but in these moments I feel myself grow.