12 tagged with #running

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reminders from the crossing guard


the street reeks of ginkgo berries, a warm mushy pungent paste that coats the fresh pavement, which is too hot in this mid-october week. i skid to a stop, panting gently in the shade.

"how are you?" she asks, peacefully standing in the rectangle formed by the power box blocking the afternoon sun.

"hot. too hot. i wish it were colder."

she let me sweat for a moment while the cars blew past us, then reminded me that the weather came from something i didn't understand. true enough, i thought. we have never understood the weather. "are you a christian?" she asks.

"no."

"well, sometimes i read the bible," she confesses. "and sometimes i'm out here, and i see the trees waving, and i say it's because they're thanking god for the day."

we cross the street together, looking up at the canopy of branches forming a shield for us against a hazy blue sky. it is mid-october, and they are not yet ready to drop their leaves. sweat pools under my watch strap. she tells me about how before i ran up to her, she was just standing there enjoying the nice breeze.

"and maybe sometimes we gotta think about how our negativity might impact the world around us," she tells me gently, while i take an extra moment to let my skin cool. "we can be grateful just to be here today."

she puts out her hand to me, and thanks me for taking the moment to listen. i shake her hand; it's dry and cool, and she does not grip firmly when she wishes me a good rest of my run.

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08 October 2018 16:53


running


slog uphill, because that's how you earn the downhill flight. there's been inches and inches of rain; mud splashes up to my thighs. i pass a trail crew, taking a break from cutting ditches for fresh logs, holding their hands up while standing in a circle.

'run through, run through!' one of them shouts to me; i hold my hands up in the same positions, skipping through their circle, spinning in circles, laughing while i almost slip in the gravel.

'be careful,' the crew leader at the next worksite shouts, as i skip over mud pits and vault past tape they've tied across the trail between trees to mark off the next drainage ditch they want to carve. 'go through, be careful.'

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11 June 2018 23:00


this spring, i swear


there's a rule that when i go outside, it rains on me. this is not a burden; i find it validating that the sky finds me worthy of receiving water. the weather forecast this morning reported no chance of precipitation, partly cloudy skies, an unseasonably brisk but not punishing spring day. sewage problems in my building drove me out to get some fresh air, so i changed into my running shoes and escaped.

clouds hung trapped over the river valley, funneled in by the wind vanguard of a pressing warm front. there are days when running can't possibly feel good; no matter what i do with my legs, arms, breath, i feel distressingly sluggish and lacking any sense that i ought to exist. my body is a vessel that i pilot half-assedly down the trail. work trucks grind up the gravel path towards me, forcing me to swerve, giving me looks as if i'm the one making poor decisions about where i've put myself.

but it rained on me, a few spits of water leaking out of those heavy, rushed clouds. i squinted up into the pale sky, the rolling tangle of confused birds and a drifting cluster of balloons that someone had released upstream. the river moves in an apparent slow-motion seethe of mud. briefly, it still smells like sewage.

i can't help but laugh. i don't want to laugh.

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11 April 2018 17:31


mantras


it's okay to be cold, it's okay to be cold, it's okay to be cold.

i chant this under my breath, my cadence high because i think it'll move my blood around faster. the wind demoralizes me quickly, but i'll be warm before it cuts all the way through.

i do this on faith that the last time i did this, nothing bad happened. i do this knowing that i'm not far from my own home, or countless other buildings that would let me in if i knocked on a door. i can think about those things because there have been times that i've been cold, or scared, or scared because i was cold, and i was hours of walking away from the nearest road.

it's okay to be cold, sometimes.

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23 March 2018 22:13


train your feet


i don't have to ask my ankles to respond; i trust that they will, on their own. by the time my shoes have lost traction on a tiny patch of ice, it's too late for me to think about it, anyway.

i do have control over my general trajectory, though. i know that i can typically get better traction on snow, punching past the surface and landing in slush below. where it's not icy, it's muddy. dark pavement is hard to judge this close to sunset; i can't tell for sure if it's wet or frozen.

even the dogs are slowly picking their way through.

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22 March 2018 22:53


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