So this morning I went out for a run. I put on my sweatpants and tied on my ratty sneakers. My mind was so bogged down I didn't care about how I looked or who looked at me; this was all about my going anywhere as long as it was away from here. Here meaning this state of mind I'm currently in. IPod or no iPod? No iPod, I thought. I'd rather have my mind to go wherever it wishes than have it attacked by Christina Aguilera. Let the street provide the soundtrack.
Once I reached my starting point along the dry reservoir, I peeked through the wire and checked out my intended destination: the park at the other end of the basin. You can do that, I told myself and off I went. Slowly at first...actually slowly throughout; I didn't want to wear myself out on the first try. "You just need to get to that bus stop" soon became "Now to that tree over there." Although I thought I'd start going over all the issues currently on my plate, only one word kept running through my head: breathebreathebreathebreathe. As each foot hit the pavement, I breathed in deeply, through my nose, through my mouth, to offset the feeling that my lungs would surely collapse any minute now. And just when I was about to give in, I reached Fort Independence Park.
I plopped down on the nearest bench, my heart racing and my lungs screaming for air. I can't say that I felt elated, accomplished or as if I just completed my tiny version of the New York City Marathon. I just...was. So I sat, stretched and stared out onto the reservoir until I decided it was time to go. Run or walk back? Run, I decided. You've already done this before. So I started back home on the tree-lined street. Step, step, breathe, breathe. No fruits grow here, the air is noisy and the grass is patchy and dull, but this is what I have right now.
Today I ran away for a mile. Next time I'll aim farther.