Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)

I am a runner.

Or at least, I was a runner back before I took 18 months off to finish nursing school and birth a child; gaining about 60 pounds in the process. And while I, and my aching legs and feet, secretly appreciated the break, it has been difficult for me to be so far removed from such a personally identifying habit.

Running, while physically invigorating, involves so much more than the physical aspect itself. Running is also a salve for the soul. It comforts and soothes, the consistency of footsteps lending itself to all manner of problem solving. It has a remarkably calming effect, if only for the fact that, for me, it is a solitary endeavor. On a run is just about the only time I ever get to be alone with my thoughts. I missed running, I missed the total exhaustion that comes from a early ten-miler on Sunday morning. I missed the feeling that I had the ability to push myself beyond what my body believed I was capable of doing. I missed being in on “the secret.” You know, the look you give people when they marvel at how you were able to get up that morning and pump out five miles before work. Yes, I have missed running.

If this past week has shown me anything, it’s that running, clearly, hasn’t missed me. In fact, it seems as if running is actually pretty pissed off that I stayed away this long. Running wants nothing to do with me. I would go so far as to say that running hates me and, if I want to get back in it’s good graces, I’m going to have to pay dearly.

I finally made the commitment and started my payments last week. I’m training to run the half in the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon this coming April. Starting from the beginning is both humbling and exhausting, but I’m determined. It may take another 18 months, but here I am, trudging my way back, one mile at a time, to a place where I can once again, honestly say,

I am a runner.

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