I never liked running. There's too much time that passes when your body is in automatron rhythm so your brain can pipe up and be all HEY LET'S GO HOME INSTEAD! DOESN'T HOME SOUND BETTER THAN HILL?
I used to run a lot. I did a half marathon once. Worst time of my life. The next day and a half felt like my legs were made of icicles and twigs. Childbirth was preferable.
I'm a solitary sweater so running with a partner to provide distraction has never been an option. But when the scale screamed 232, I knew that I was in a questionable spot where a pair of running shoes and some headphones could provide some answers.
I hoped my body remembered. The first day of C25K I felt every extra scrap of me bouncing and painfully rubbing. I hated everything I had put in my mouth for the last 7 years. I hated that it was so hard to do just a little run in between spurts of walking. But corners were turned, my body deep in some quiet space remembered how to pump its arms and extend heels down to the earth, and I kept going. The app was my trainer, telling me when to start, stop, when the sweet halfway mark moment happened and when it was time to cool down and swing my arms in languid circles as I rounded the last block before home.
My body came back. It happened at such an interesting pace that I couldn't keep track of it and then inarushandflurry, I was a little different. My face has angles. My legs don't waver on the stairs. I study myself in photos like an archaeologist. I unearthed myself. As someone who never could do math or science, this is pretty goddamn significant.
I am shrunk down. I am stronger. I feel beautiful. I feel like sometimes this is a dream.
How am I here? I ran here.
The movie Frozen continues to give in unexpected ways. A ritual has started, as they do with three year olds, with a goof. One time when we ushered a favourite Aunt or Uncle out to the elevator, she started to run down the hallway the wrong way. Chasing her led to a "HOLD MY HAND AND LET'S RUN FROM THE WOLVES LIKE IN FROZEN" full body sprint down the hall and down to the right and then a brief pause, while we "rested" - hunched over with our heaving chests, hands slipping down off our pants, until we slowly resumed tall postures and pretended to hear something. THE WOLVES. Clasped hands and RAN!
Now it's a near daily event. Mid-stride, when I tilt my head down to watch her little head bobbling along, sometimes I'll catch her face cocked up to mine, mouth wide open with words so fantastic she doesn't know yet how to form them. We pump our arms and run with great panicked purpose, rounding the one corner with an extra burst of power, bodies at a new degree, light in our sock feet, readjusting as we hit the straight away to the end of the hallway. Neighbour's doors flash by, decreasing numbers; if they eye-balled their peephole at that perfect moment, we'd be an unexpected silent blur.
The still air we interrupt whistles through my earrings and the little bit of extra space between the dirty carpet and my tiptoes makes it feel, for the tiniest of seconds, like we're flying.