Friday, March 31, 2017

Unlosing Myself

In the time since I first started running as an adult, I have never felt quite as lost as I have in the months since I last posted. In fact, that post maybe indicated better than anything else that I wasn't feeling the same about running as I always have. The runs I used to do (the marathon, the 60k, running around Manhattan) felt empty. I thought I would remember how I feel about running by just diving in and doing those things, but nearly 100 miles and a few weeks later I was scrambling to return to the mindset I had when I loved them.

I catch glimpses occasionally, so I know my love of running is still lurking somewhere under the surface of all my anxiety about everything. Running, like New York City, feels like an old friend who's giving me space to find my answers without disdain or judgment. I know it'll be waiting for me with open arms and happy trails when I'm ready.

Once, a few years ago, I went for a run on a perfectly chilly fall evening the weekend before the marathon. It was a group run that I joined on a whim, though apprehensive about the fact that I hadn't been training as hard as I should have been.

It was glorious and exhilarating, and I ran it hard and fast in that way that is joyfully reckless and impervious to physical pain. The effort was ecstasy, not toil. If you've experienced it, you know it's the sort of run that makes you revel in your abilities and the circumstances that allowed you those moments of complete fulfillment. I remember being so deeply in love with the world, and grateful to be able to recognize it.

So. I know what I'm looking for and that I'll find it again eventually, and that has to be enough for now.

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