Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cornerstones


My run is like a brick.  It’s solid.  I know where to find it.

It is the cornerstone of the foundation of my self.  My run isn’t going anywhere.  Even when it’s watching me longingly through the tinted glass at the Y pool, or shooting daggers at my ride, it’s always there, waiting for me to come back.

My run is place to lay my worries, with the knowledge that if I want, I can choose to heat them and gently tap them into the shapes of acceptance.  There are times though, when my troubles are too cold to bend under gentle guidance.  So I lay them out on the road to be hammered under swiftly pounding soles.  And I have done that.  I have pounded the asphalt until sweat blinded me, just to prove that I am good enough.  I have run over gravel that popped and crunched under my Adrenalines.  I have left more frustration and stress and soul cleansing on the streets of Richmond than they ever deserved to see.  I trust in the autumn thunderstorms to cleanse the roads for me.  My worry blends with the oil that slicks the shiny black pavement and runs into the gutters.

My run is not invincible.  There are things about it that make it susceptible to damage.  It has points of weakness, and there are times when it feels fragile. 

It is easily bruised.  It needs protecting.  If I play too hard, the run suffers.

It has a delicate ego though.  If I play too gently, it thinks I don't believe in it.

Like a relationship nurtured through its seasons, I often say that "one should never take their run for granted".   I savor my run as we work to create memories.  We learn from one another, and we try like hell not to damage each other in the process of building a life.

I like think that my run and I are entering our adolescence.  The soft puppy love and hand holding has passed.  Now we are grittier.  We’re inclined to say things like, “let’s press this and see if we can make it hurt without hurting ourselves”.

It is, admittedly, a violent kind of love with sweat soaked skin dripping from exertion.  It sports the occasional bruise.

And marathon training?  Well, that's like parking a car in a dark field away from prying eyes.  Without the lights of civilization, one is tempted to try things that test the limits of societal bounds.  So innocent as it all starts.  Fingers brush across laces and a thrill lances into my core.  A hitching breath catches in my throat.  Deep down inside, I might hear a bell that asks, "is this a good idea?" but the desire, the promise, the pleasure, and the glorious satisfaction are all too enticing to ignore, so the bell is overridden.  Breath mingles, and heat rips through me like a pulse of electricity, singeing any lingering doubts on the road to damnation.

Pain mingles with pleasure, and on some level they become impossible to separate.  Sometimes that pain comes to me in the form of fear.  It burns as it's torching me from the inside.  Other times it’s physical pain that I can articulate on a moan as aching muscles beg for attention.  

Regardless, I never regret asking my run to test the limits.

We push each other toward pain and pleasure alike.  My run is the cornerstone, the anvil and the easily bruised flower petal all at the same time.  It's the hammer to wield.  It’s gritty and real, and it takes me to dark places I never imagined I'd explore.  It is the pain I endure.  It is the fear that I conquer. 

~savor the run~

11 comments:

Jen said...

Not sure you meant for tears, but they came. Awesome post, again!

RunHapi13 said...

Really...no words...saying "beautifully stated" doesn't even do justice. What a gift you have.
I remember when you first started running...
I remember you on the Richmond course crying...
I remember you on the Richmond course trying not to suck...
I remember when you couldn't run but were still there for us.
Treat your run well, my friend, you make an amazing couple.

Anne said...

What a beautifully written homage to your run...goosebumps. You are a wonderful writer!

Katye said...

poetic genius!

Ewa said...

Thank you for expressing what is in my heart and that which my words could never convey.

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Wow, G...I do want to "make it hurt without hurting myself". I'm inspired. Thanks.

3L said...

g. You inspire and you teach...I read the words that flow from your heart, I have run many miles with you. I listened not just with my ears but with my heart and this is where I learned that my run could be the strength that I had been searching for and with each pounding step I have become whole again. There is this amazing posse that I have in my corner and to you my friends I say thank you.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

It's like you found the words I wanted to say but couldn't find. Wonderful!

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Thank you!!!!

Earth Momma Mer said...

thank you, g. i am lifted up!

Scarlett Mother said...

So when are you going to have this published in a real running mag? This is definitely worth publishing.