I hate running.
I hate the prep: what pants do I wear? I like the gray ones but they never stay on my hips, they’re always riding up. The black ones are nice but they don’t stay put either, always falling down. Do I need to wear long sleeves, t-shirt, running tank top? Should I put on the ear warmers or just a head band? What about gloves, should I wear gloves? Where am I gonna put my keys? Where do I put my iPhone? Gotta have the tunes. Maybe I should invest in a shuffle. Well, I don’t have one today so…
And then I start moving and I hate that part, too. I put one foot in front of the other, I make my way down a pre-selected path, trying to keep to the beat of the music pulsing through my ears and moving through my muscles – usually angry rap music, some Eminim, some Jay Z, switch it up with some jazzy bad ass Adele or some 3Oh!3. I keep moving, thinking that it’s almost over, lying to myself because I really know it’s not almost over because how can it be almost over when I’ve just begun.
The only time I truly, deeply enjoy running is when I’m done, when I can look at the screen on my iPhone and see the stats from the running app I use that tells me how far I ran, how long it took me, my average mile pace… that’s the only time I really feel the pleasure of putting my body through that pain. I usually try to make my run end by the coffee shop I work at so I can end with a free coffee beverage. That also makes the pain easier to bear. Then I make my way back home and ice my knees because they will, without a doubt, they will be hurting. Sometimes there’s Icey Hot, but that’s a whole other story.
Another painful part of life that I regularly participate in? Writing. Beginning is probably the worst. I fret over what I should write about, what should I provide to the world? What words do I have that can make someone smile or think differently about a certain subject or just make someone laugh? It’s a lot of pressure, not unlike trying to figure out what I’m going to wear to run. I suit up for my writing very similarly to how I suit up to run.
Then I begin. I put pen to paper, or I start typing and see what flows. Sometimes I have music – not angry rap music but more ambient, lyric free music: Balmorhea, Explosions in the Sky, Sigur Ros – just background noise to somewhat focus me but to let my thoughts pour forth. I begin moving, slightly movement from running but movement just the same.
I let it pour, free flow, no edit, sometimes no backspace, unfiltered thoughts. Sometimes it’s awesome, sometimes it’s jibberish, sometimes it’s hilarious, and sometimes it’s just pure insanity. But it’s there, it’s out of my head, and then I feel more stable. I feel more centered. I feel more pure, more of myself. I don’t have to ice my knees like i do when I finish running and I don’t finish writing near the coffee shop so I can ease my pain with a free coffee. Usually I write in private, secluded away from people and their thoughts or opinions because while I am under no impression that everything I write is awesome I am under the impression that it should be which is why sometimes I just don’t write.
And that’s a whole other battle, another fight. Sometimes I engage it and I write with passion and fever, with power and strength. Other days I hide in the corner and believe the lies. I believe what others say about me instead of believing in myself and what I know to be true.
That I am a bad ass on more levels than they will ever know.