I want to feel myself conquering the ground under me. It’s the only thing I don’t mind to completely pound. What beats the feeling of passing six miles and hitting a runner’s high? You tell me, because I’ve never found something better.
I feel beautiful. I can be dripping sweat. I can smell like garbage, my hair can be a matted mess, and my skin can be bright red, and nothing has made me feel prettier.
I never thought I could. When my friends were pushing me around the lake in a wheelchair six years ago, I assumed that was it for me and my leg. Since training, I’ve felt no pain, but actual strength as the muscle forms around my scar tissue and I conquer the fear of putting pressure on my ankle. I feel so strong.
I like to push myself. There have been so many runs that I tell myself “you can quit after this mile,” and then when I finish it, I remind myself to run the mile I’m in. I repeat so many mantras: Pain is weakness leaving the body. Inhale confidence, exhale fear. The work makes the worth. This is what you came here for. Determination means no matter what. There’s only one way to the finish line.
I love the rest of my day when I finish a run. If I start my morning off with a run, I’m energized all day. Afternoon? Builds up a dinner appetite. Sun’s down? I’m down for a long, cool evening run. No matter when I start, I always finish happy, relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for what’s next.
Because I can. I can run, and I won’t ever allow myself to get back to that place. That dark place I was in for so long, without confidence and filled with self-doubt; a non-appreciation for what my body was capable of. I might not be built for a full marathon, but I’ll be damned if I allow myself to lose this. I can’t make my body do what it can’t, but my body won’t let me let my heart, mind, and soul down.