Run Girl

It had been grey when she had left the apartment and dim enough to render her breath invisible. It was orange now, the kind of orange that sits just on the surface of yellow, or maybe bright white. Her breath came in billowing clouds of condensation, and she ran through them, the droplets from each hot exhale forming and wicking away with the force of her passage.

She had gone beyond the questions and bothersome, nagging doubts. That was an important lesson that very few in life, if any, ever taught with such consistency. The regular trial of a morning run was not so much the waking up at dawn, nor the hunt for clean(ish) gear, nor even the pre-hydration and fueling. It wasn’t about the condition of the muscles and joints, nor the pliability of the various sinews that helped the locomotion. It was about lifting one leg up, falling forward, putting it down, then willing the other to follow the pattern, repeating it again and again. It was about fighting through the desire to return to the warm bed she had left so many kilometers behind, and forgetting how easy it would be to simply stop moving.

She was moving without stopping now that she had broken through the wall of leeching laziness. She had been a runner for years, competed in several marathons, and in all that time the incessant voice of sloth had never grown any quieter. The urge to just give up, skip a day, not run that extra kilometer. The voice of negativity never went away for good, and always seemed to come back just when the runs started.

She had pounded it away, as she always had, and had laid it to rest once more somewhere in the frosty grass or gravel of the path that twinned the river along her route. She had come once more to that place where her thoughts were the clearest, and there was only the will to move and breathe.

2014.12.17 – 2023.07.19

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