Tonight I went on my first long run in a long time. It’s one of the best things I do for myself. Here are just a few reasons why:
→ I get to feel like I’m in my own movie montage, the kind where the main character is Getting Her Shit Together. You know, high energy girl-power tunes blare as she burns photos, gets a haircut, and takes up fitness anew.
→ It’s how I meditate. Heard a Buddhist nun speak on campus a few weeks ago, and she said one of the main benefits of meditation is getting the mind and the body on the same page. So often our mind is anywhere else except where we are at that moment, but we find peace when mind & body can exist at the same place and time. (It sounds super fu-fu, but think about it. How many times does your mind wander during the day? Wouldn’t it be nice to have it learn to sit still?) Meditation is syncing your mind & body in stillness, and running is meditation in motion for me. My legs are moving my body forward, and so my mind moves forward as well.
→ I stumble upon questions like: “gee, I wonder where that Corona bottle / discarded Plan B pack / stuffed animal ended up on Kearney Street?” Life is just full of fun little mysteries.
→ I sweat to lyrics like these, and in doing so, shed some toxic emotions:
I’ve got the world in my hands, a master plan, but I don’t know why I keep callin’ why I keep callin’ yoooou… (Kanye)
Give me something to believe in, ’cause I don’t believe in you anymore, anymo-o-ore… (Maroon 5)
You triflin’ goodfornuthintypeofbrotha, silly me whyhaventIfoundanotha?… (The Warblers, Beyoncé)
It seems that good “oh, uh-uh, no you did NOT!” songs like to repeat, drag out and/or truncate words (a practice which Wikipedia tells me is called “G-dropping” or, more accurately, G-droppin’. How gangsta is that!). And even if you aren’t feeling the exact sentiment of these lyrics toward any person in particular, there’s still something highly satisfying about them.
Society allows you a little self-indulgent vengefulness when your heart is broken. It’s one of those unwritten social loopholes, like pregnant ladies farting in public or elderly racists.
No matter where we fall on the relationship status scale, (from [I’m so Happy & in Love!] to [Please, point me towards the nearest bridge, so that I may jump or set it afire.]), I think we all secretly hope to someday have the chance to Beyonce someone (to the left, to the left), and we hope in that moment to find the most perfect and absurdly hurtful thing to say.
And then we get to walk away in slow motion, with bouncy hair and Michael-Bay-approved gritty lighting (and, if appropriate, explosions in the background).
Life’s not like that, of course. And I don’t really want it to be. But it can be for a little while, in my imagination at least, when I run.