An inner athlete's manifesto.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Recently, my life has turned upside-down between work, living situations, and my personal life. I have been stressed. I qualified for the ING NYC Marathon 2012, then was promoted at work, then my living situation fell through, etc.; there was just one mini-crisis after another (although getting promoted wasn't a crisis--it just led my work life to a level of stress I didn't dream possible).
I've been reasonable when it comes to keeping up on my running schedule, but not great. I admit, I have felt pretty defeated on my runs lately. I have felt slower, and my body wants to quit after only a few miles. How am I going to train for this damn marathon? I sometimes find myself thinking. There's got to be a way out of this rut.
Then it happened. My second option for an apartment fell through, and once again, I have put my things in storage and am at the mercy of people's kind hearts and soft couches until I find the perfect spot for me. I have tucked running gear into drawers in my office at work where they are easily accessible, and I am committed to training while I hunt for somewhere to rest my feet.
I closed the door on my storage unit, my running shoes intact and contracts in my pocket, and though it had started to rain, I was too proud to ask my movers for a ride back to where I came from to collect the rest of my things. So I started running.
The downpour really started as I made my way from the west side of Manhattan back to the east, and with it, my running comeback. Crowds scattered away from the sidewalks and into taxis and doorways, watching me gallop through puddles from underneath their umbrellas. As I neared Park Avenue, an amazing feeling surged through my entire being. I realized that I was ready to run for miles and miles, that my body was primed and ready to go, just waiting for this mental block to cave in so it could keep moving. It was like my mind remembered, just as my body did, that it was capable of running long distances. Remember this? This feeling? It's fabulous. It's like tiny champagne bubbles of energy streaming through your veins. It's knowing that you were there physically before, and can get there again, no matter what.
I kept running down the FDR drive, down to Houston Street and the Williamsburg Bridge, and the rain came down harder and harder, but I didn't want to stop. I couldn't stop. I became as relentless as the rain. I felt like a runner again.
I spent probably an hour and a half running in downpour before I made it back to my friend's house for a shower. I was soaked and dirty and exhausted, but I haven't felt that good in months. I went to bed and got up and did it again the next day (this time in dry weather), and again the next. Now I am back in my routine, and I feel determined and motivated again. There is nothing better than finding your sticking point again, as I like to think of it--the place where your body says, "Oh, yeah. We got this."
Yeah, I got it.