Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Running Unragged


I wasn't going to run last night because it was late, I was tired and the kids were in the bath. I wasn't going to run last night because I didn't feel like it. I wasn't going to run last night because my iPod was out of juice. And I wasn't going to run last night because I couldn't find my florescent green running shirt.

I wasn't going to run last night for all of these reasons and more. But then I remembered how irritable I was and so I imagined how good a hot shower would feel after a run. I remembered how good it feels to peel off my socks from my hot feet. I remembered how good it feels when the the cool air hits the space between my toes. I thought of how quiet it would be on my run. How no one would be whining. Or asking. Or demanding. Or shouting. Or arguing. I love my children but the little sweethearts run me ragged.

Running does not run me ragged. There is irony in this. An irony that keeps me from running in the first place. Yes, I'm too tired to run. I'm too irritable to run. I'm too busy to run. But those are all reasons to put on my shoes and the wrong shirt and go running anyway.

I went running without my iPod. So often I think it's the music that keeps me going. But last night I listened to the cars pass by. I listened to the wind in the trees. I watched the leaves wave over my head. I saw delicate Japanese Maples and Dogwoods heavy with blooms. I watched the sunset paint brick buildings orange. I heard to the crack of a bat on a softball diamond and the shouts of girls as they cheered each other on. I listened to my own footsteps on the concrete and the sound of my breath. I saw my reflection blur by as I ran past storefronts and restaurants filled with people eating dinner.

I didn't run far and I didn't run fast. I was home in time to kiss foreheads and sing songs. I took a shower and washed the day off my body. I uncovered new skin. Found new feelings. Washed away work. Scrubbed at stress and it went down the drain so silently I hardly even noticed it was gone.

I don't run for my body. I run for my mind. I don't run to get healthier or thinner or fitter or faster. I run to see the leaves waving over my head. I run to remember that I am human and it is good to be alive. It is good to be alone with the wind and the sound of footsteps on the ground.


25 comments:

  1. They are the best reasons of all.

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  2. Yes but what about when there's a good TV show on? That's a good reason not to run, right?

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    1. Yes, yes it is. At least that's what my brain tells me.

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  3. I have to agree. Thank goodness for spring. Mental health exercise, in nature preferred, gets so much easier.

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  4. Beautifully written Mandy! Run girl, run

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  5. Yes. I go on the treadmill because I celebrate being able to move, being able bodied, feeling grateful that I can exercise.

    xo Loved this.

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  6. I went running on Monday and heard rustling in the woods to my left. I looked over and saw two deer turning to run away. If I'd been wearing my iPod I would've missed that completely. Oh, and then a squirrel up in a tree started barking at me. Freaky squirrel.

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    1. That's a lot of nature. I hope you don't see a bear next time.

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    2. I was just relieved not to encounter any snakes this time. One was enough. Now I'm running closer to the middle of the road to avoid any surprises from out of the grass.

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  7. Lovely, you run to feel human and alive and all those things .. wonderful :)
    You made me feel like running ~

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    1. I should be a motivational speaker.

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  8. This kinda makes me want to go running right now. If I wasn't tucked up under my covers drinking cava that is . . .

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  9. 100 times yes. Exercise is non optional for my MENTAL health. It being good for me physically is just a welcome bonus.

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  10. Damn you make me want to run again. I slip out of it so easily when I'm not training for something. I need to remember the leaves and the showers afterwards!

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  11. Aww for fucks sake. I literally have been procrastinating running this morning by reading blogs. Why did I have to read you this morning!!! Okay, here I go. Thanks for the kick in the ass...

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  12. Shit. I'm sitting here in my cubicle getting ready to pack up for the day, about to head to my parents to show my Father for the 4th time how to create an album for his photos on facebook, and coming up with 20 reasons why I'm not going to run tonight.

    And now...

    I'm gonna go running.

    Thanks Mandy. Beautifully written.

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  13. You have developed quite a craft of being able to move a persons emotions while reading your story builds into some very funny stuff mostly I think you have a gift . You are funny. Not everything but you are a sophisticated writer with pixie hips. I am laughing and I don't always know how you pull that off so well. That's the best thing I can say, thanks .TLS

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  14. And this story was very moving. Something about running at night , the sounds of your feet , the wind,etc Great reading tls

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