running away

There is occasionally that moment when a run turns into something all together different. It becomes a departure. The here and now slides away into oblivion. Within the cadenced breaths and the rap of strides on the road stretching before me, it is there, if only I can find it. It isn’t easy. Just isn’t there most days. There are days it is just plain work. Not more than an hour or more spent in motion, no joy to be found. There are endless numb miles like that. I find myself chasing that departure. Hoping in that next turn, or in that tough climb there will be an escape. It may not last long, just a few moments, or possibly a mile or two. But when it comes there is nothing like it. The stress and anger evaporates like the sweat on my under armour. It just plain disappears. How can the simple act of running do that, when the most powerful of antipsychotics and mood stabilizers fail. Just putting one foot in front of the other on a stretch of path. Guess most would argue it is endorphins. I don’t know that is it. It is more like a meditative state- when running becomes flying, effortless. The repetitive movement, sound and effort. It is easy to sometimes get lulled into a trance like state, especially when doing a longer distance run. There is a sweet spot, if you can find it. So, how do I find it? What makes it unattainable most runs? or only attainable for brief glimpses? All I want is a place to fall into oblivion. To have no pain, or anxiety. To race free of the doubts and judgements. And so I run, and run, and run some more. With each mile, chasing the glimpse of freedom. To be honest most of the time I dislike running, bordering on hating it. But I keep right on running for those days. Sure most would just give up. I’m rather hard headed, or as my mom has always said- I have a head like concrete. Though she often says that because my older brothers had taunted me into riding my tricycle off the deep end of our pool. It was late fall and they were in the empty olympic size pool tossing and catching with their lacrosse sticks. They loved to torment me, this was nothing new. Guess I was fairly easy to get me to try anything, with all the Evel Knievel talk. So a leap off the deep end of a concrete pool seemed easy. Nobody knows how I survived that one, though we all agree it probably had something to do with the plastic hotwheels trike I was on. My mother ran the opposite direction (speaks volumes and is a pretty accurate description of her response to anything remotely trying). So I survived that one, and as this life as has gone, quite a few others. There is no explanation for that day, or all the other ones. Maybe someone is looking over my shoulder, and in those moments of oblivion running, I find myself glimpsing something so much more than myself. I can only hope to catch sight of it more often, because all that work and fatigue takes its toll. Run on, I say.

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