I Could Blow Through the Ceiling if I Just Turn and Run
Many of you are wondering, I’m sure (you better be) how my training for the Odyssey is coming along.
So, last week I ran out my front door with the entire discography of Radiohead and Crystal Castles with the idea that I was going to run eight miles and be back in time for a couple of glasses of wine before getting involved in a research paper. This was the plan until, circa mile five, curiosity got the better of me while sailing past a heretofore unnoticed trail out past city limits. It was such a poetic moment… fog was misting the city scape and the rain was greening the pine trees just short of neon and I was like, “Why the hell not.”
BECAUSE, past self, you got fucking lost. Very lost. As in, eight miles turned into thirteen by the time I fell upon the steps of my little house feeling a shadow in the window that had been laying patiently on top the couch jump up and down in the particular fashion of small dogs as if to say, “HOLY FUCK YOU ARE NOT DEAD! COME IN STAT AND PET MY TUUUUMMMY!” dusk had passed me up and I was a somersault of hot and cold. But know that getting lost is not the worst thing to ever happen to me and I now understand a few things:
1. Feelings of wonder give you energy. (“What is this trial?”) Taking in beauty gives you energy. (“This gradient of lavender! This road! That sparrow!”) Extended periods of time away from a watch, along with the curious feeling that time has stopped gives you energy. Reaching a summit gives you energy. Taking off your shoes (“I’m so speedy!”) YES! more energy. Realizing you are lost… that’s another monster entirely. I will call him “adrenaline.”
2. Despite having lived here for three years now, give or take a few months from that figure, I am not very knowledgeable of the natural landscape. We have cacti. And partridges. And green, shiny gravel – wait – no sorry that’s a broken Heineken bottle.
3. If the wind is with you, surrender to it.
4. I did not think I could run that far. Passing the ten-mile mark was something that seemed insurmountable two weeks ago. Once you forget your limitations, a lot of barriers start to fall away.
So pardon me, out I go, but not before assuring you that yes: everything hurts. Absolutely everything.