I had yesterday’s date noted on my calendar. It marked something of a change in my life and as it drew near it became impossible to not begin my comparison.
Where was I last year? What was I doing? How did I feel? As the day started, I began to feel discouraged. Was I in the same place as last year? F*ck. Being the pessimistic Monday-soul that I am, I started to build a case. I quickly concluded: Sh*t, I’m a loser.
In a desperate attempt to feel better, I agreed to go running with a friend on my “rest-day.”
I headed over to his place after dinner and we planned our route.
In the middle of our run, I remembered when we started running together. I had persuaded him to go with me. We were both smokers then and couldn’t get passed the 2nd mile without walking. As I hit mile 3, I couldn’t help but think how far my friend had come as a runner. And that’s when it happened-I was noticing him as a runner, when it dawned on me that I was keeping up. My breath was completely controlled. My eyes were fixed on the road ahead. My head was clear. There were no thoughts of quitting in sight. I was completely focused on my run. I didn’t even have a number in mind. I was just running; I was digesting the pain and using it as fuel. OMFG, who am I?
Somewhere next to the Hudson, the case I had spent the entire day building broke down. I was absolutely not the same person I was a year ago. I had miles on her, literally. I was someone new. There was purpose in my direction. I was centered, present, and more than anything I was in love with every single step I was taking. I had learned to run, not away from life, but with it. Maybe even at it.
I guess progress is that way, isn’t it? If you’re foolish enough to overlook it, it can go by unseen. It does not ask for acknowledgement, but if you’re paying attention, if your thoughts are clear and your moving forward, it’s impossible to miss. I’m so many things that I wasn’t a year ago. I’m a runner. I’m a writer. I’m something between this sweet sad-eyed looking girl who wants to believe in something and some bitch that will call you on your crap. Perhaps, I was always all these things. Perhaps, I just finally gave myself permission to enjoy them.
I don’t know where you were a year ago, but figure it out. Search your Gmail history, search your calendar, or your Facebook. What did you want last year? Do you still want it now? Did you do it? Are you closer?
If you are farther, don’t worry. Sometimes, we fall behind so we can learn how to really start. If you made a little progress in whatever it is you wanted, if you are a little closer… you know what you need to do. You took the first step, you know how to take the second…
The new year has started, my friends. What are you going to do with it?
And to those who don’t know how to start doing whatever is it they want to do, here’s some help:
“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve run for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” John Bingham
Run (or live) like you stole something.