Tag Archives: run

Hitting the Wall

Running, for me, is awful. Whenever I do it, I’m tired and sweaty and angry and taking it all out on my tiny girlfriend, which doesn’t really make me look like the best of people.

But…the last time I ran, I hit a moment.

It was toward the end of the run and I was badly flagging and all I wanted to do was stop and throw up under a bush and then sleep it all off under that same bush.

And then…there was a this moment where it was easy. I had hit a point where I could not only keep running, but I could go faster and farther than I ever had before. I had summoned up some deep reserve of strength that allowed me to tap into some mystical force. I felt like a goddamn superhero. I started to run past Emily, instead of trying to keep up with her. I burst ahead and it wasn’t hard. It felt natural.

In that single moment, I had tapped into something that I had never even been aware of. I was able to run, with minimal effort. It wasn’t exercise: It was fun. I joyfully threw myself into the run. I didn’t care about how much my legs hurt or how hard I was breathing. All I knew was that I was running and it was easy and I didn’t want to stop.

It was the most coordinated I had ever felt. Everything lined up just right.

I felt invulnerable.

And then it slowly drained away and I was mortal again and we slowed to a walk.

And then, later, I fell down some stairs.

But…for one, brief, moment, I was completely in tune with myself. I was able to reach my potential. And, for one brief moment, I was able to understand why people run on a regular basis.

-D-

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Snowboardin’

I’m not especially athletic, so any thought of attempting anything resembling a sport always makes me break out into a sweat. And yet, I always go into a new activity with the dangerous assumption that learning it will only take, at most, ten minutes. That deep down inside, I’m a prodigy that will blow away the competition with a display of physical prowess that will make all the ladies nearby swoon.

Instead, I always find out that learning any sport requires a certain amount of willful stubbornness, the willingness to withstand painful falls and an unflappability in the face of perpetual humiliation.

I’m bringing all of this up because I went snowboarding a few days ago and I still emit a girlish shriek if I happen to sit on my tail bone. There was one point during my snowboarding career where I managed to fall down no less than five times in a five minute period. At that point, I was a few seconds from snapping my ‘board in half and running into the lodge in a fit of petulant rage.

Instead, I went back up the hill again with “Eye of the Tiger” running through my head. I got off the ski lift, bound and determined to get down the hill in one go. Instead, I continued to leave a series of splat-shaped holes in the snow. Riding up the lift, one could see the clawing marks I made in an attempt to keep myself from sliding down the slope after each of m spectacular falls.

And then, for whatever reason, I got it. There was no fanfare, no epiphany. I just…stopped falling so much. And then I was making it down the run at a brisk pace without falling at all. And I was enjoying myself! It had gone from a painful exercise in pain to being fun, so much so that I want to go back again.

And maybe next time I’ll try that toe-side thing that people keep mentioning.

Dylan Charles

 

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