The last time I went for a run, I mean a "real run" from the "exercise" category, it was probably my junior year of high school. Let's admit it - my use of the elliptical on occasion the past few years doesn't really count, and neither does that one a.m. run on the treadmill after Midnight's glass of wine. That one certainly can't count, because the security guard kicked us out of the club house gym after we jumped the fence and swiped our card, and there were at least four of us in heels. So, that last "real" run, over a decade ago, had long faded when I step on the treadmill determined to collect endorphins, because I need some type of pick-me-up these days - the caffiene is wearing thin, and I'm too uncertain as to whether or not this is the best or worst time in my life, and I'm trying to decide that it is the best. Or at least for the best.
So I climb onto the old treadmill in the basement and push play on the collection of ipod gym songs that have never been played before and begin to run. And the funniest thing happens. The list of things I want for my twenty seventh year start to actually take form as my feet hit the black ramp (like quit the worrying habit, take more risks, and just live), and I'm convinced all these list-derived thoughts are actually tangible. I catch myself trying to grab for them in the air and then have to restrain myself, because I might actually fall over. So instead I take a deep breath and keep running and words start stringing together only in my head, and I'm just relieved.
When I step off the treadmill, I note, despite the personal "running" break-through, not to tell anybody my time or distance, because I remember from high school how humiliating these numbers actually are. I take a swig of water and go directly to the town library - the reward for a new (possible) addiction, of course - which accidentally leads to one the best days I've had since June, so what else is there to do other than renew the promise to STOP WORRYING SO MUCH. Oh, and possibly run a little more?