I didn’t start running with any particular agenda or goal in mind, at first. I started because I missed the feeling of being free that it always gave me. That carefree, unstoppable, invincible feeling I had lost somewhere along the way.
I’m still not sure of how exactly it occurred but somewhere between starting a career, becoming a mom and then later taking on the responsibility of single parenthood, it was lost.
I start and end most days adhering to a fixed schedule. Beginning with my alarm sounding off at 5am, followed by hitting the snooze button several times before finally embracing the day. Then it’s a game of beat the clock after. Rushing to shower, dress, and feed my son and I; so that I can drop him off to school, race to the subway and head to work.
The same routine is reversed in the evening. Then it’s heading to the market for dinner or other errands after work. Racing back to the subway and heading to my son’s after school program and trying to avoid being late.
One evening this summer, I decided to do something different. My son was visiting my mom in Michigan and I had something I hadn’t experienced in almost 8 years, free time.
It was such a foreign concept. I had the slightest idea what to actually do with it. So during my commute home on the subway, I gave it some thought.
While walking from the train, I had time to stroll (which in my world rarely happens) and appreciate the beautiful weather.
My beloved Bedstuy comes alive in the summer, you can feel the pulse when passing by barbershops, dominican hair salons, cafes, produce stands and parks. People are everywhere; young, old and from every possible walk of life. It’s all here in my little section of Brooklyn.
While on my very scenic stroll, I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that this would be a perfect day to run. It wasn’t hot, there was a wonderful breeze and I had absolutely nothing else to do.
Once I reached my apt, I threw on some leggings and a t-shirt, found some comfortable old sneaks and went right back out. I didn’t want to get too settled in and risk talking myself out of going.
Next, I headed to the corner of my block. Once there I found a music playlist on my phone to keep me inspired and off I went.
It felt weird at first. I’m pretty sure my form was off and I felt like a spectical weaving through people on the avenue but I refused to stop. Even when my lungs were on fire, I kept going. Then somewhere along the way, I began to feel stronger. I regained control of my breathing and actually began to enjoy my run.
I began to take in the sun as it was beginning to set, my bustling neighborhood, the breeze and I felt reinvigorated. I felt alive. It was such an amazing feeling. It allowed me to extend my run and push past both my mental and physical boundaries. I felt better than I had in years and didn’t want that to end.
Once I made it back to my apartment, sore muscles and all, I felt on top of the world. After I had showered and was laying in bed, I was still smiling and in awe of my day. I didn’t want that feeling to end and couldn’t wait until tomorrow evening to run again.