January 14, 2013

sometimes it is late and I am a little tipsy and it's cold and rainy and nevertheless I am out on a run, but hardly running; more like tripping sloppily forward, with just enough upward momentum, just enough air in between steps, to have it be considered 'running' at all. I am lurching forward and it's slow and terrible and it feels slow and terrible and then, with sudden, staggering clarity I think, nobody said it had to be tidy. nobody said it had to be fast. nobody said it had to be good. it just has to be a mile.

nobody said it had to be graceful.
nobody said it had to be happy.
nobody said you couldn't feel sad and sorry sometimes that you aren't better than you are.

sometimes running just means having faith. having faith that you put in the time and the miles and eventually you get faster. you aren't going to know for a good long while that anything you are doing is improving you at all, so you just have to lace up your shoes and throw on an extra layer and have faith.

on this run my hair is a frizzy disaster. I have had one too many glasses of wine; it is dark and rainy; I am sad and lonely, terrified and lost. but I just run to the stoplight and round the block and return to my house. it takes twelve minutes, which is forever, but also nothing. my clothes are barely even damp. my girlfriends say I am crazy for being out here, and they are both right and wrong.

when I return, my calf is lumpy in strange places and it hurts and I am too exhausted and downtrodden to do a single thing about it. I strip off all my clothes and lie in bed the wrong way, the skin on my legs still frigid from being outside.

life is messy. nobody ever said it wouldn't be. it's lovely and challenging and good, and then it's terrible and frightening, huge and sad. nothing makes sense. nothing was ever destined to make sense. I don't know whether I'm supposed to try and be better or whether I'm supposed to accept that sometimes life is sad. messy feels real in a way that tidy doesn't. I have no answers.

nobody else is going to steer this ship.

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