Positive Internalization

Running. A core part of my life. For most people, it's something they never do. For those that do, for most it's more of a chore. Just a habit to get out of the way. Not to be super condescending, but I don't view those people as true runners. Feeling like you should do it, doing it for the reward, to get out of the way, or even to do it for the satisfaction from winning or completing a race, those people are not real runners. Out there in there $150 shoes with their airpods in, blasting something, anything, to make themselves not have to focus on their current state. Sorry for that digression, just had to get it out of my system.

A true runner (such as myself would look weird here, but whatever), runs because running is a part of them. It's something they can't live without.

My feet banging the pavement. My breathe rugged. I can feel each step shooting up my body. It sounds like I'm being slapped each and every time I take a step. Hundreds of times a minute. Each breath of air in through my nose feels like breathing in a knife, as the cold pierces my body. Each push out fogs up in the inky dark in front of me, a stunning dance of chaos illuminated by the sparse streetlights. But still, through all this, my body burns. A riveting fire. Icy cold is something I hear a lot, and this would perfectly describe how I feel. Exposed to the freezing cold, my arms and legs, my face and ears, they all freeze. But yet, at the same time, they burn. They sting from the cold. Sting from the warmth. The liters and liters of warm red fluid being pumped several times a second everywhere to keep it all working. To keep it all warm. The extremities turned red due to this mingling of extreme heat and extreme cold. My feet bashing the pavement. My breath bashing my body. The heat bashing my skin.

All that bashing. One of the most welcome feelings ever. All that worries you, all that ails you. Be it something coming up, a bad interaction, your memories. Work, school. All that ales you bashed away. Out of your mind. Focusing on the present. The coolness sweeping away the warmth, only to be overtaken again by the warmth. A never ending fight, which eventually will be won by the warmth once I stop. But then ultimately won by the cool. A futile fight, huh? In this fight, you're but a bystander. And you can do naught but feel it. Appreciate it. It's invigoratingness. To suffer is to survive. Suffering is required for context for all. And feeling this, pushing through it, that's what evolves you.

Focused on the present. On the bashing. On the burning. On the wind blowing past my ears. On the burning in my lungs, both from the cold and from its use. Focus on it. Feel it. Expand it. Amazing. An ecstatic feeling. My toes pushing into the ground. Ascending a hill. A glance down at my watch. Making pretty good pace, and only getting better.

A vault, a final kick. Coming up the top of the hill in the dark. A group of people running pretty slow. I pace up just a little. Almost at the final mile of a tempo run. Fast on fast. I dash past them. This always feels enthralling, passing people who are in their athletic prime, 20-somethings, as a teenager. Absolutely dusting them. A little guilty pleasure, one might say. I remember this terrain like the back of my hand. Slight right, sloped a little up. Just need to kick a little. My watch buzzes. 1 mile left on the dot. I pick up the pace even more. My ears roar. My heart pounds. My heart rate starts to reach the red zone. Same color as my extremities. Slight left now, down. I see the sharp left turn, and move a little to the right, getting ready for a perfect turn at the best angle. And now I turn, perfectly executed. Just under 800 meters left, a half mile, until I finish my run. And it's all downhill. I pick up the pace. My body is a moving fireball. I keep running. Keep pushing. The air forcing itself down my throat. The cold struggling to maintain its grasp on my body. And, finally, I hear a buzz. I'm finished. I start turning around, slowing down. The fireball has flamed out, but yet the heat lingers.

As I begin the slow trek back home, feeling the cold force out the warmth, my hands forced in my pockets, the asphalt felt on my feet through my shoes. Proud of my time. Feeling the effects of lactic acid in my legs. The cold seeps through. I can't go back to running, once you've stopped you've stopped. I'm pained. I'm frozen. I'm sore. I'm alive.

Written for this month's Indie web carnival

Post is in the Agora Road Travelogue

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