|Part of my Mississippi Gulf Coast run, along the I-90 Bridge.|
|Denver's Washington Park|
And then, one day, Colorado - as she has done so many times before - grabbed hold of my fleshy person and made me do a thing I'd never imagined doing: run. (She did this before with musical instruments and again, with church-going.) Next thing I knew, I was attempting a jog around Denver's Wash Park on a dewy morning without a shred of confidence. I felt like an awkward bag of molasses and heaved like a heavy smoker - I was neither.
|Along my North Dakota run.|
|Long Beach path|
Nevertheless, I've come a long way since that first run and this Saturday, I'll be attempting my first half-marathon in Jackson, Mississippi. What's worse, I've foolishly agreed to run the LA Marathon in March. Other than accidentally getting swooped up in the annual Turkey Trot on the beach Thanksgiving Day, I’ve never actually ran in a race before. But I have now been cheered on by strangers (and high-fived by a guy in a turkey suit) so color me addicted.
In between, I've enjoyed beautiful runs - remote back country roads in North Dakota to bustling beach paths in Long Beach to Colorado's Red Rocks - and I'm always impressed how much peace it brings.
I even bought special running shoes from an honest woman named Mary at Runner’s High. She knew her shoes. When I asked Mary about her own running habits, she said quietly, “Oh, it’s been awhile but I hope to get back to it.” It was then I noticed her left leg, which was beyond swollen, it was actually about three times larger than the other leg. I don’t know what that condition is called but it can’t be comfortable. And then work in a running store? Oi.
The holidays are a tough time for me - something to get through - and the literal act of moving forward presents a sliver of peace - running toward the future, leaving my past in the dust.
|Ocean Springs beach path|