Monthly Archives: October 2016

Running, in all its gritty generosity

Picking up my race packet last year.

Picking up my race packet last year.

I will run my third half-marathon on Sunday, almost one year after my first. My body is in drastically, almost frighteningly different shape this time; my mind and motivations are, too.

Running through a failed relationship and post-grad angst, I relished the psychological aspect of miles and miles and miles. I logged 60-70 miles in a single week sometimes, running 12 or 13 miles after a full workday, perceiving it as the pinnacle of dedication to my health. The folds in my clothes multiplied that summer and fall; the more miles I ran, the less of me existed. I weighed 105 pounds when I crossed the finish line Oct. 18.

I felt invincible; running was the closure I needed, the structure I needed while adjusting to my first big-kid job. It’s not what my body needed. Not then, anyway.

Running is a hobby, coping mechanism, lifestyle and obsession for me. That spring, summer and fall, it was also a trigger. Training triggered my then-dormant celiac disease, shocking my body into losing 20 pounds and into months of crippling exhaustion. Continue reading

I’m better now and I think I believe it

The pink sunrise reflects in the glass of my end table as I reach instinctively for my tea, the black surface brightened by coral tufts. I am aware of my own awakeness this morning and every morning, relishing the ability to write a simple to-do list for the hours before work.

Read book. Pack bag. Pick out necklace. Pour tea. Pack lunch. They are, of course, tasks I would have remembered to do anyway. Once routine, they hold new significance and reverence, maybe, quietly reminding me to relish the sustained energy and the awakeness of it all. To worship it, even, taking extra care to monitor the minutes my tea steeps, to line up the corners of my favorite blanket, to awaken without instantly wanting to sleep and sleep and sleep.

I'm a bad millennial and don't have Snapchat, but look at my cute friends!

I’m a bad millennial and don’t have Snapchat, but look at me and my cute friends at Drake!

I shed the memory of chronic fatigue with almost rebellious abandon this past week. I danced and sang and drank wine at (and before)┬áThe Wombats and Drake in concert. I saw the U.S.A. gymnastics team (Simone Biles!) in a live showcase. I ran miles and played tennis and stayed up too late and read books. I wasn’t living nap to nap anymore, but I needed to convince myself of it, still.

At the height of my exhaustion, I did all of those things, too, I suppose, assuming that if I willed my body to be alive and awake, it would listen. It would let me go out two nights in a row. It would let me stay up and finish the chapter.

I’m better now, and I think I believe it.

Like awakeness, betterness takes a while to settle in again. Texts read, “I’m better, don’t worry about me so much,” for months, as exhaustion tugged me back to my bed. I resented my favorite blanket. Continue reading