Monday night I got to watch McFarland USA again (man, I love that movie) and I had to hold back tears through a lot of it. I miss it. I miss running so much. There’s nothing that makes me feel more alive, more strong or more capable. One of my favorite parts in the movie (I have many!) is when another teacher reads a poem written by one of the runners to Coach White. Obviously, I can’t relate to middle of the poem but the rest of it spoke so well to my soul.
We fly like blackbirds through the orange groves
floating on a warm wind.
When we run, we own the Earth,
the land is ours.
We speak the birds’ language
Not immigrants no more, not stupid Mexicans.
When we run our spirits fly;
We speak to the gods.
When we run, we ARE the gods.
Tonight I was out on a walk and I just needed to run. I NEEDED it. So against my better judgement I did. That’s one of the things about runners is we’re stubborn and run when we know we shouldn’t. Through the rest of my walk, I would run the flat parts and walk the inclines or declines. I didn’t want to risk landing too hard on my foot. I felt old, familiar aches in my knees and I knew my foot would probably scream at me later but I didn’t care.
I ran and it felt amazing. I ran and I felt strong, actually stronger than I remember feeling the last time I ran. It was a pleasant surprise. I’m sure I will pay for it. I will probably wake up tomorrow unable to put weight on my left foot or I might have to limp as I go downstairs in a few minutes to get my last load of laundry but I don’t care. I needed it, so I ran and running rewarded me the same way it always has. Maybe that’s one reason I’ve always loved it.
Even if it was just for a few minutes, it felt good to reconnect with that part of my soul. Someday I will be able to come back full force and that, my friends, will be the happiest of days.