Thursday, November 15, 2012
This I Believe (an old favorite)
The marathon is in two weeks. My training has been mediocre, but I'll make it to the starting line. I've no illusions of personal records; my prayer is to finish strong and happy.
The approaching race has me feeling nostalgic and a little cuckoo (they call it taper madness), so here's an essay I wrote in February 2009. It was for a prompt from NPR -- "This I Believe."
This I Believe
I believe in running.
While running, I’m a voyeur. I know who’s doing laundry, who’s a closet smoker, who keeps Christmas decorations up year round, and who leaves the lights on in unused rooms.
I’m a child of God. I pray, and He talks to me through a creeping sunset, reflection of red and yellow leaves in a pond, and silent deer in a corn field.
I’m a mother and wife. Long lists of chores scroll through my mental palm pilot; I plan grocery lists and menus. Epiphanies dawn about how to build a better marriage or how to relax in motherhood.
I’m a writer. I compose imaginary novels, moving manifestos, ironic blog posts, and angry letters to editors.
I’m a cynic. I critique landscaping choices, scoff at unleashed dogs, lament garbage volume, and shake my fist at reckless drivers.
Running is as vital for me as breathing, eating, sleeping, or praying. If I don’t run, my relationship with my husband goes awry, everything seems darker, and I don’t like being around people. I fear the end of my running days; there’s no possibility of water aerobics, yoga, or walking holding the same joy.
I’m a runner. I squeeze into slinky, brand name clothes that contradict my non-running persona, lace up shoes that cost more than any other item in my wardrobe, and don a reflective hat that has escaped my almost fanatical cleaning habit. I’ll never win a trophy, won’t place in my age group, and will never know the feel of a podium beneath my feet. But as long as I’m working toward crossing a finish line, I am spectacular because I run.