|Local Run, By the Dawn’s Early Light|
If I could describe for you the joy of long-distance running, I would do it. If I could tell you the story of just one long, slow run so that you could feel it – not just hear it, but know it and experience it as I have done, I would write about each of the 1,000 miles I ran in 2011 and bind them up in a beautiful book that would shake your world and shine such a joy and light into your soul that you would immediately dash to the store for your first pair of running shoes.
I would love to tell this story, but I find it quite impossible, despite my best efforts.
Alan Sillitoe, in The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, writes about my beloved hobby:
And it’s daft to think deep, you know, because it gets you nowhere, though deep is what I am when I’ve passed this half-way mark because the long-distance run of an early morning makes me think that every run like this is a life – a little life, I know – but a life as full of misery and happiness and things happening as you can ever get really around yourself…
A little life – yes. Each run is a little life. Unique, with a beginning and an end. And in the middle, there is breathing… and joy… and sometimes pain and disappointment… and… letting go. And there is love. Lots and lots of love.
“It’s the most wonderful minute because there’s not one thought or word or picture of anything in my head while I’m going down. I’m empty. As empty as I was before I was born…” writes Sillitoe.
I am emptied out. I am filled up.
It sounds a little crazy to run 1,000 miles. I don’t always want to jump out of bed and go, despite my love affair with it all. Sometimes I lie there and think of a million reasons why I shouldn’t get up and run – and some of them are excellent arguments. Sometimes “just do it” loses out to “no freaking way am I getting out of this bed right now.”
But I am willing to fight small battles with myself every day in order to win the bigger war against insanity. My anger at Mr. N/A is melting. And the years of self-punishment and low self-esteem are fading away in the light of Joy. I have already won.
I have finally found my peace. Thank you, Dear 2011. Sleep well.
After the battle and we’re still around
Everything once up in the air has settled down
Sweep the ashes let the silence find us
A moment of peace is worth every war behind us.~ Indigo Girls