First and foremost, let us get the that’s what she said joke out of our systems…okay okay, out of my system, alright I’m good, and clearly I will never change. Actually, change is kind of what this post is about. It’s October, the leaves are changing, the weather is changing…sort of…and as for me, I’m trying to change some things about my life. I’ve been trying to run more, and I’ll say, it hurts. It’s hurts in my legs, and it hurts in my chest. My muscles strain to do things they haven’t attempted in years, isn’t that pathetic? 21 years old. But I’m working on it. I’ve done this before. I’ve gotten excited about exercising for a few months at a time and then I always let life get in the way. But this time it feels different. The exercise thing…it’s becoming a part of my life, a big one. I think about it all day, everyday. If I’m not running or swimming, I want to be. I sometimes hate my life while I’m huffing and puffing along, embarrassed that I allowed myself to get this way…repeatedly. But here’s the thing: I keep going back for more. It hurts, but I like it. I’m terrified of running, but I do it. And maybe to some this will sound corny, but: today I had a breakthrough.
Today I went running with a friend. I haven’t known her terribly long, but I feel like you wouldn’t catch on to that if you ever hung out with us. Ever since we started working out together, she’s been motivating me, and even more than that, helping me motivate myself, whether she knows it or not. I am grateful that she puts up with my whining and complaining, especially today when those were arguably at their worst. Today I had the bright idea that we should run outside. We had once before and I enjoyed it more than the treadmill, so I figured it was a no brainer. We started off together, and as usual, everything hurt and I let her know it. At some point we broke apart as we each found our own pace. I was alone in my head, a place I find intimidating and overwhelming when I exercise or right before bed. At these times, my thoughts have the tendency to race, and they can sometimes be overpowering. I set myself up for failure before I even let myself try. But like I said, something happened today that I’m not sure I can even explain. For those that do not know, I have a teeny, tiny, inconspicuous heart-shaped tattoo on my left wrist. I got it for my grandfather, Dante, because when I was in high school I would always pray to him and ask him to run on my left. If you ever workout with me, take note of which side you are on. I sometimes slip up, but I always try to leave the left side open for him, just in case. Today my racing thoughts slowed as I ran and held an audible conversation with my grandfather. I was answering questions no one was asking, I couldn’t breathe, but I kept going, asking him to stay with me. And the best part of it all, is that I know he was there. I’m not the only one in my family to experience this phenomenon, so you, reader, can think I’m crazy, but I know I’m not. I asked him to help me, to take the pain away because I wanted to do this, and in no way am I kidding when I say, no sooner did I ask, was it received. I cried because I didn’t understand, and it became harder to breathe but I didn’t care. Finally I was done as I met my friend back at our cars. Exhausted both emotionally and physically, I explained that I was crying like an idiot because I missed my grandfather. Without missing a beat she said that she’d bet I was talking to him while I ran, mind you, we were so far apart on this last part of our run that there would have been no way for her to know that. “Cancers are intuitive,” she told me.
Maybe it was just me letting go of the thought that there is no possible way I could ever be a runner. Maybe I let go of the mental pain and the physical followed. Maybe I really did experience some kind of spiritual phenomenon that helped me change my mind about myself and my goals. Whatever it was, it sparked something. It sparked something and now I’m running away with that spark and never looking back.
As always, I am RJ, and I am proud of myself.