I'm not going to talk about shoes this time. Though I found them (thank God) and am sleeping again until the next crisis hits.
Well, not wedding shoes anyways.
I don't know that I've ever truly considered myself a runner. But when I sit and think about it, the days I'm antsy, like this morning when I was driving to the gym and going over the bridge that spans the Deschutes River and seeing the winter sunlight sparkle like it wanted to be 80 degrees outside, lighting the dirt paths and limning the trees and water with unreal light...all I wanted to do was hit the road, feet running, lungs breaking, with that big, fat, I'm-going-to-die-and-it-feels-so-good grin on my face that I get when my lungs first suck in that breath of 27 degree air and I don't care because the sun is so beautiful and the trail is under my shoes and it just feels right...
All I think about is running when I'm antsy.
Running isn't about looking good (like I say) or eating what I want (which I do) or losing weight or anything it's just about running.
The creak of my knees as they top an impossible hill, the scream of my quads as the pull me through the mileage, the ache of my lungs as they strain for yet another breath of unreachable air...
It's brutal, it's masochistic...
It's meditative, it's calming...
I want to move.
I want to look behind me at the road and know that I conquered it.
I want to walk with the lightness in my step that only comes from knowing that my heart gave me six miles or more in the morning and is going to do it again tomorrow.
I'm not fast, I'm not hardcore, and I never believed I was a runner. I never believed that it was a word that truly defined me.
Unfortunately, these things have a tendency to sneak up on you.
So this morning when the only thing I wanted to do was run my heart out, and the only thing I was allowed to do was two little miles for thirty short minutes alternating walking and running on a safe, flat treadmill...I was still glad. I am still elated. Because my body won't let me down if I don't let it down.
And this fact snuck up on me and smacked me in the face:
I'm a runner.