I ran this evening for the first time in six months. I write “ran”, although I’m not sure if what I was doing can actually be considered running. None-the-less, it was a start. My knee is healed, and it didn’t hurt at all, and I am so relieved.
Fact is: running keeps me on this side of crazy.
As a person who lives much, if not most, of my life in my head, running keeps me connected to my body and, consequently, connected to Earth. The combination of physical exertion, intense deep breathing, and a little pain does the trick. Running helps me find center. As a person with a Pagan spirit, Buddhist heart, Protestant work ethic, Catholic guilt, thick thighs, and an addictive personality, running is my best coping mechanism. Running is my drug of choice.
Over the course of these last six months I have felt myself slip into habitual patterns I thought were long erased. Adult life can be stressful, but added to my injury mix were twenty uninvited pounds and my unvoiced fear that maybe my running days were over, and that maybe I needed to listen to all those well intended voices telling me that running (especially at my age) was bad for my body, hard on my joints and bones, and probably enlarging my heart.
Frankly, unable to run, I have been a hot mess.
But that was all yesterday… This evening I ran, and the body that has begun to feel less and less like somewhere I want to reside felt like it was mine again. And while I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, and I know it will take a long time to for my body to feel strong, I also know that tomorrow I will run again, and I will be smiling, and I am so relieved.