I’ve been trying to make a “blog decision” over the last few weeks, and I’ve decided to revive this one and put my “Goya in Israel” one to rest. That one had to be retired for obvious reasons, I suppose, but it’s hard to actually close that chapter. In all ways, not just in my blog-life.
So, here I am, dusting off Erin Runs. It seems completely appropriate. Through all the turmoil of the last few months, and all the turmoil that has yet to settle, running has given me my one taste of solid ground, at least for the time I’m on on the road.
With every run, I feel a layer of anxiety and stress and depression and crud dissolve. That layer floats off, no longer having a hold on me. It may have left its mark, but each run allows me to let it go so it no longer can control me.
If I’m lucky, I won’t add another layer between runs. I try to hold onto that feeling of freedom and optimism and hope. Some days I have success; some days it feels like more layers were added than are taken off. But I keep running, hoping to tip the balance. Hoping that at some point, those layers will come off a little more effortlessly.
As my future appears vast and empty and, quite frankly, scary, running has also given me beacons of destination along the way. I’m running the Boston Marathon in 12 short days. The excitement and anticipation of preparing for a race has given me something concrete to focus on and distract my swimming mind. More than that, though, it’s given me a community of runners with whom to interact and meet that weekend. My imaginary friends on the RWOL Boston forum have truly pulled me along through much of this process, and it seems so fitting to be able to share this weekend with them. For me, it represents the next step in moving on and getting out of my own head long enough to actually relax and have fun. That weekend, no one will be judging or taking notes on jobs or relationships or pressuring me to make a decision. Instead, there will be laughing, talking, shopping, eating, laughing, drinking, flirting, laughing, and a little bit of running – all the good things in life that I still have, despite everything. Thinking about that weekend has gotten me in that blissful state of anticipation - when you're so excited for something that you almost don't want it to happen because looking forward to it is just so much fun.
And in June, I will run 30 miles for my 30th birthday at the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN. The marathon happens to be 2 days before the big 3-0. I’d love to also do it as a fundraiser, and I’m mulling over which charity I’d like to serve. Stay tuned!
And so, ever onward, ever onward. As my legs travel the miles, so my spirit is lifted and my hope returns.