I like to run. Not the 5 a.m., headlamp wearing, neon spandex strutting, just going on my nonchalant six-mile kind of “run” though. My likeness of this activity includes short bursts of effort and movement. Every so often, I’ll find myself willing and anxious to exert my energy by darting around the neighborhood or through the Boise foothills until my legs get tired and my heart is racing and satisfied.
Does this qualify me as a runner? I’m not convinced this even gives me the right to claim I enjoy running. Regardless, there’s no turning back now. I like to run.
I like that I’m able to start and stop whenever I so choose. I like that I can go anywhere, and surely, at any pace I desire. I enjoy the atmosphere, the smell of the air outside, the feeling of my soles hitting the pavement and the knowledge that my strength is propelling my body forward. I like knowing that I’m moving away from something and closer to something all at once. I like the lack of commitment. I like how I get to choose if I want to drown out the noise with music or allow myself to focus only on the breaths I’m taking and the hum of the cars beside and around me. I like the rush, the adrenaline, the physical battle and the fight it takes to continue on. I like feeling the sweat across my forehead and the steady rhythm of my arms as they find their way to a comfortable, familiar pattern.
My favorite part though, is always the end. I love reaching my destination. Returning back home, crossing the finish line, reaching the summit. My body physically stops moving, but my heart and my head are still pulsing, racing, beating heavily. There’s clarity in these brief moments. My senses are hyper-aware and my body is sensitive to the slightest breeze, the faintest smell.
It’s intoxicating. There’s no other part of my life where I’m able to pull myself into such a place of being, and god knows, I’ve tried.
I’m looking for truer destinations in my day-to-day life. I’m looking for home-base. I’m looking for stability. I’m looking for somewhere to go, somewhere to be, somewhere to belong, something to do where I feel electric.
The issue is, I very much like to run metaphorically as well. I enjoy the temporary thrill of desire and adventure. I love newness and moving and throwing things away and starting over and moving on. Moving. Going. Transporting. Leaving. But all I can hear myself saying here is, escape. I like to escape. I’ve spent my whole life escaping.
I’m beginning to believe there’s something even truer than the enticement of a thrill. Stability. I would love some stability. I’d love to stick around. I want to be brave enough to stay still. To trust myself enough to be firm in where I am, what I am, what I want, what I need, what I accept, what I allow, what I desire, where I want to be, where I want to go, and who I want near me as I try and try and try and fail and fail and fail.
I’d like to believe there is a world where I’m not doing this alone. I’d like to believe in a sort of consistency. Reliability. In myself and in others. I’d like to believe there’s a way to build a life I can be content enough in to flee from the desire to always escape.