May 29th, 2008
Somebody grabs me at lunch and tells me theres a bus going to the track after our last session. I nearly fall over. Track? We’re in the middle of a desert…?
But a track there is.
And around the track there is a soccer field and a tennis court and a sunset.
I walk out onto the quarter-mile circle and stretch in the late afternoon breeze. My body has ached to run for weeks but training and long commutes don’t allow for daylight-free time and we are not permitted out after dark.
I breathe the thick, quiet air and launch into one the best exercise hours of my life.
It is a hard run. A damn-you’ve-been-lethargic run. But in this run I feel so much dripping off my skin. Fear and loneliness and stress and self-doubt and sadness and newness and homesickness: all the things transitions are made of. All the tension of these last 6 weeks. All streaming off me in the motion of breathing and prayer and meditation.
After my first lap the I-Pod battery runs out and I pump through the next 4 miles to my beating breath. There is no adrenaline rush, no runners-high, no sense of weightlessness. But there is an acute awareness of strength. I feel my body push and respond to perseverance. I watch a cloud constellation cast rays and melt the globe of sun. And I run. And I am healthy. Everything aligns.