on turning it around
Posted on April 10, 2017
Sunday, 9 April 2017
Start time: 9:27am
Distance: 13.1 miles
Pace: 8:31 min/mile
My body aches. My entire being throbs with a dull, satisfied pain. This is what burning the candle at both ends looks like. For the past few months, I’ve been looping through an endless cycle of pointless busyness. Run to work to shows to gym to errands to more shows to late nights to long runs. I’m quitting my job tomorrow. It’s my third job in as many years. It has enabled me to live in San Francisco and has imprinted so many of my memories here. Now, it’s about to end. It feels simultaneously like a huge mistake and the only option.
My whole life, I’ve been great at following rules. I loved school, I’m an obedient daughter, I pay my taxes on time. But thinking about it now, I only follow rules that seem to have intrinsic value. I wasn’t good at lining up before the bell rang. I never gave essays I didn’t want to do much thought. I have close to zero tolerance for polite conversation. I don’t wait for the little white man to light up before crossing the street.
I simply cannot motivate myself to do work that no longer fully makes sense to me. And so, I must leave. As soon as possible and with no alternatives lined up. It’s scary as fuck and frankly inadvisable.
In order to feel free and like myself again, I’m being magnetically pulled to reorient along a mysterious inner compass.
Today I ran 13.1 miles in a single direction. I did not want to do it. I didn’t sleep very much at all. But I had plans to meet a friend and I never flake on running commitments. When I find people to share this thing that I love so much, I want to keep them around as long as possible. So, I’ll shuffle through a hungover half marathon and I’ll do it smiling because I have a friend by my side. We took a ferry ride home in high spirits.
I used to think running solved all problems. Then I thought, running is just a distraction. It’s neither. It’s not therapy or church or a dream lover. It’s not something you do to numb your pain, though it does that very well. It’s as alive as you are. The way you run is who you are at that moment in time. Today I ran exhausted. I had very little to give. But by the end, I was free.