That’s what I used to say to my insanely athletic sister who always wanted to know if I would run with her in the early mornings.
Why would I opt to gasp for what feels like my last breath in 90 degree weather, only to stop after 10 minutes and not be able to move the next day, when I could just enjoy a bag of Sun chips and watch an episode of Parks & Rec instead? It didn’t make sense to me, so I would always joke “I don’t believe in running”. And she would go on her way.
That was 6 months ago I last felt that way. Now, as I sit in my preparation class for my nursing boards and seemingly disappoint on every single question, all I want to do is run. I want to run away from the insecurities that creep up, telling me I’m not smart enough, I won’t be as good as my classmates, I won’t be competent in my career. I want to run from the anxiety and sadness I fall into when simply thinking about my past and present failures.
But I don’t. Instead, I run outside.
I run in my tasteless Nike shoes and oversized t-shirts around The Green on campus to be consoled. I run towards my feelings and problems, rather than in the opposite direction. I run to and through and with them, hand in hand, validating them and embracing them. Much like how the breeze embraces me when my feet quicken across the pavement.
My mile time stinks. Every now and then I quit early or get shin splints afterwards. I’d love to get better, but it’s not really about that for me right now. It’s about the journey. Even though I can feel the quickening of my heartbeat and the hyperventilating of my breath, I can feel the warm, radiant rays of sunshine glistening on my skin, too. As my Beats play my favorite rap playlist throughout my auditory, I take notice of how the cool air feels between my sweaty fingers and tightly curled hair. They remind me that things are going to be alright.
I guess running isn’t so bad.