Friday, July 2, 2010

Run Away and Save Your Life

This past week has been a bit on the trying side and I don't know about you, but when I feel overwhelmed the first thing I want to do is escape. I want to leave my problems right where they are and hide out in a lush countryside where people raise sheep for a living and gather fresh eggs for breakfast. Or maybe some tropical island where eating mangoes all day is quite a respectable profession. Instead, I'm stuck here with this (*points to temporarily rough life*).

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.



  1. Good job chiquita. I know the feeling and running does help. I don't know how far I jogged yesterday but I gave up once my ipod died... ..frickin sweated all over my iPod and now it doesn't work : /

  2. Wow, that sounds intense. Luckily, this morning was a bit breezy and totally bearable. Kudos to you for keeping with it even in the suffocating heat.

  3. O D, I know weeks like that- in fact I think I may be in something similar- good on you though for getting running in, I'm more of a couch potato watching the World Cup to while away my worries...

  4. Go Dorkys! Go!

    I hope next week isn't so rough (but its gonna be hot).

  5. Running is such a huge stress reliever and the sense of accomplishment - incredible. Great job knocking that mile on it's butt! I'm a little inspired to jump on my bike now. :-)

  6. Running alwayz makes me feel better. But I NEED my music playing so I can daydream! And Xtina would never "attack" your mind...she'd simply educate it in the ways of perfect vocal performance!

  7. That's awesome! I did some running on my Wii fit the other day (the sorry excuse for running - 2 minutes in your living room with lots of rest time before 1 minute of hula hooping, stuff like that), and I swear my calves are so sore I'm limping around like I've had hip surgery! Oh, man, I don't know if I should give up or if this means I need to do it a lot more. A lot.

  8. That sounds SO awesome. I need to get back out there and push myself some more. I'd love to hear nothing in my head besides my own breathing!

  9. english woman, I hope you're feeling better these days, girl. Feeling out of it/sick when it's nice and sunny out really sucks. Hope the games are lifting your spirits in the meantime!

    intense guy, OMG it's stifling over here! I hope this coming week is much better, too. Thanks for the well wishes :)

    angelia, I'm not much of a biker, but my dad did get me to ride through the streets a couple years ago and it was so much fun. My butt definitely felt it the next day. Kudos to people who ride around the city every day. I'm always impressed by their dedication in the face of death: traffic and taxi cabs and bus drivers (they're the worst)!

    josh, oh I love me some Christina too, but I have to be in the mood to get into it. Sometimes I just want to zone out and instead she makes me want to jump around and pretend I'm a rock star.

    kristy, Oh I was sore for days after that first run. It's been what...three days now? And the pain JUST went away. Now I can get back out there and hurt all over again. When it's a tad bit cooler than 99 degrees that is.

    karen, yeah, it definitely cleared my mind up a bit. And the fact that I proved to myself that I could do it really helped my motivation to try it again.

    toriz, thanks!

  10. Wow...a whole mile. Not sure I can do that myself. I am so out of shape!

  11. :)
    You made my day.
    And you will go further.
    Sometimes, when you stop running, and no thoughts are running through your mind....that's the best. Right there. You don't have to feel accomplished or triumphant. It's about feeling alive. Not "pumped up about life" alive, but just living. The beauty that is exertion and energy and fatigue.
    It's a wonderful feeling. I love seeing others experience it.

  12. sugarlens, actually I was surprised when I mapped out my run on and saw that it was a mile. I thought I'd only done 1/4 mile or something. It was a lot shorter than I thought.

    tooje, I actually thought of you with this. I figured you'd be happy to know that I actually attempted to run since you're such a fan of the thing. Have you been able to get back on the road since the pregnancy?


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