Everyday I say “Today’s the day! Today I’ll get back on track!” But everyday, I feel like I let myself down.
Well you know what they say: when it rains it pours. Sometimes it takes a fucking hurricane to get you out of your own head and get your priorities straight.
On my way to work one morning, already running a little late because of oversleeping from my new medications, I ended up being the last car in the three-car pileup.
Only blocks from my house a woman smashed into a car, which in turn smashed into mine. As I sat in my car and thought, well fuck, I guess I’m going to be late to work today, I realized suddenly that this could have been more serious than it was. My car was relatively undamaged, but the other two were both likely totaled. The car in the middle had a child in it, right in the spot where my son Abel sits in mine, and right where the impact was.
The child was fine, all adults involved were fine. To me this was an inconvenience, but the woman who caused the accident was absolutely devastated at the thought of what could’ve happened to that little child in the backseat where she hit. All in a moment.
Police reports were filed, claims were made, and we all went about our day. It wasn’t until I got to work that I sat, shaking, realizing that I wasn’t okay. This simple inconvenience for me made me question my mortality. Now I know that’s a pretty extreme leap, but really, it’s not.
What have I done in the last week to make my life worth living?
I am a mother, a wife, an individual, a runner, a crappy cleaner with a pretty messy house. I like to read, and write…. But what have I really done with that lately? What makes my life enjoyable and worth living?
That evening, upon returning home, I thought of a million excuses why I should just go inside and call it a night: it’s getting dark, I live in the city, it’s too late to go to the park, it’s not safe to go out alone… and the list went on.
But I made a different choice.
As quickly as I could, with the slightest bit of sun yet to set, I put on my running shoes, sports bra, and a hat, and I hit the streets for my first outdoor run in some time.
I only meant to run one mile, but I ran over two. I know that’s not much, but it made a huge difference. That meagre run, at a snail-like pace, ended in tears. Not because I was disappointed, but because it allowed me time with myself. I processed things that make me emotional and unhappy, yet at the same time I thought of everything that pushed me forward, and encourages me every day to keep going. By the end of those two miles, those measly, silly, stupid, two miles, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
I run because I can. I run because I want to. I run because I have goals, and I will not let my body grow old without realizing my full potential.
In the end, I know it was a slow, staggering two miles, but mentally, it was a marathon. It was a breakthrough. Running is my friend, my family, and my hero. So as long as I can, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other, always moving forward.