“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. I ran to the end of the road, and when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. Now I figured since I’d run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason, I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. And when I got to another ocean, I figured since I’d gone this far I might as well just turn back and keep right on going.”

~ Forrest Gump

It seems strange that only 4 short months ago, I hadn’t run more than 5 miles at a clip, and I really had no intention of ever doing so. Now, here I am, training for a 26.2 mile race with 29,999 other people in October to earn the title of Marathoner. It’s really kinda crazy. And, at the risk of admitting I have a (gasp!) goal, I have a secret dream of becoming an ultra-runner before I turn 50. Guess I should see how the marathon goes, first.

For almost 20 years, my Self was practically invisible – I gave up my life and focused on Mr. N/A. What did I do that made him upset? Why didn’t he come home? What was wrong with me that he’d prefer the couch and Johnny Walker Black to a warm bed with me? What could I do to make him happy? What if I changed my religion? Moved for his job? Went to therapy? My head was dizzy from years of trying to figure out what I did wrong and what I could do better.
Everything I did or thought was about him.

I didn’t understand.

Even after the divorce, I thought there was something I could do or say to make things more tolerable with him. There wasn’t. I was always a bad mother. I was always wrong. And after he finished beating me up, I usually did a pretty good number on myself.

I always wished I would one day become enlightened and have some answers I could assemble in a beautiful, perfectly written book that would save other women from the torture I endured. So far – I’m still in the dark.

But one day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. That decision changed my life forever. Since that day, I have run for 73.12 hours, my stats say. In all those hours of solitude, I have yet to experience any sort of “ah ha” moments that made any sense at all of my former marriage or my relationship with Mr. N/A. He remains predictably unpredictable.

Much like my body is teaching itself how to deal with the physical challenges of a long run, my spirit is evolving into a nurturing entity, not only protecting me, but moving me past my pain, resentment and discomfort.

I will probably never get the sincere apologies I feel I deserve from Mr. N/A. My gift is that I no longer feel like I need them.

Nothing is resolved; I have no answers.

But I am free, for no particular reason.

“Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.”

~ Forrest Gump

3 Comments on “Magic Shoes

  1. Which marathon are you running in Oct? I think running is the best “free” therapy anyone can find!


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