One Step at a Time

I think I’ve become a runner.

I say that tentatively since this is all very new to me.

In the past, I’ve taken up running sporadically.  I’ve scheduled time at the gym, focused more on whatever was on TV than what I was doing on the treadmill.  I set a goal to run a 5K, but training was torture.  I was proud of myself for completing it, but I never experienced that runner’s high that everyone talks about.  It was just something to cross off of my life list.

I’ve mentioned before that moving has thrown me for a loop.  I’ve been in Vancouver for two months and while I’m definitely feeling more comfortable and able to appreciate a lot of what this city has to offer, I still feel off balance.  I don’t have all of the familiar things that made me feel grounded.

Running has become that stabilizing force for me.  The first afternoon I set out on a run, I didn’t really know where I was going.  I decided I’d run a few blocks and then just keep going and see how far I could get.  I ended up at the beach, looking across the water at the downtown skyline, wild rabbits hopping across the grassy knoll behind me.  My muscles were burning and I was out of breath, but I felt surprisingly calm.  The anxious feeling that had taken up residence in my chest was gone and I felt like I could see things with a bit more clarity.  It was exactly the release that I needed.

I feel like I’ve been chasing that moment ever since.  I still face a lot of uncertainty, but once I lace up my shoes and head out on the road I can forget everything and just be in the moment.  Concentrating on each breath, each step, each pump of my arms keeps me firmly grounded in the present.  It stabilizes me in a way that I’ve really needed.  In those moments, I am completely in control.

I don’t have any aspirations to run a marathon or break my 5K time.  I don’t really have any goals at all when it comes to running.  All I know is that I’ve come to depend on the way it makes me feel and I like knowing that no matter how my day is going there is something I can do to quiet all the noise in my head.  I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

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