Tired is a feeling I know well. From a very early age, It has been a significant safety net in a world that has always felt a little too fast, a little too loud and a little too busy to me. However, over the years I have become sloppy with my wanton usage of the word “tired”….
The conversation being…
“Hey are you ok? yes, I am just a bit tired!”
Now just change that word, the word “tired”, that innocuous, innocent 5 letter word to reflect its excuse to my real meaning. We then could replace tired with a multitude of hidden feelings that I am not quite ready to share…
Sad / angry / annoyed / scared / bored / uninterested
It is also my blatant lame attempt to avoid, confrontation / talking / expressing feelings / facing truths / doing something I do not want to / avoiding sex / avoiding physical activities that bore or scare me.
It’s true meaning is….
TIRED – in need of sleep or rest; weary.
an anagram of ..
TRIED – found good, faithful, or trustworthy through experience or testing
Yet, 50% of the time when I say I am tired I am not “found good, faithful or trustworthy”. I am lying through a façade of sleepiness to avoid revealing the real thing that has me off center.
I am not entirely sure when I started to do this. I mean, do not get me wrong I do experience true exhaustion daily. I am a mother of three boys, and I am running after them, on top of running just shy of 60 miles a week. No I do not take naps, there truly is no time, so in reality, YES I am pretty knackered. I daily would love to lie down and stay very still, but no, instead in my world I am putting on ANOTHER WASH!!!!!
So when I say I am tired as an answer to a question, I truly may be tired, or failing that I just do not want to talk to you.
Love Kelly – so so tired – Mother of Three.
Shadows flicker playfully across hues of blue,
The sun illuminates shade, the light blooms.
Scattering with abandonment, embracing the cold,
Holding to its bosom ancient stone, stark and bold.
Yielding natures crushed stories, laid bare in stone,
Revealing, seeking, creeping cracks splinter and roam.
Yearning for the rays that ignite your craggy peak.
Searching old dreams, adventures, lives lost to the winds creak.
That beautiful face creased with a grin. Oh how I miss thee oh bountiful smile (yes I love Shakespeare). Shrouded by cotton, the mask that hides a million beams. I yearn for the eye cease paired with a lip lift, a teeth glint and merriment in the pupils. I long to see a whole face with all its nooks and crannies. Cheeks I can see turn into apples with mirth. A cheek, a brow I can caress softly, if it is allowed. Those lips I could kiss, if I would choose and it welcomed. Oh if they were not so abruptly hidden from my view. The proud chin and noble nose swaddled from a worlds welcoming horizon.
The smile is what I yearn to see,
Encouraging heart ache and angst to flee.
A crinkle of nose, a crease of lip,
Can make my cold heart flip.
The lightness of the face,
When the teeth are given space .
To grin at you with such cheer,
Oh that sweet smile, how I miss you dear.
I have not written in a while, I have been busy loving our new life in Boulder, CO. Running trails, dragging the kids up mountains and just staring in wonder at the majestic scene that unfolds around me.
However, I have been silently watching as our 2nd COVID wave or is it still the first, surge through this country and push us all back into our boxes. Mainly, because people are essentially selfish, by the way I do include myself in this, I am no Mary Poppins, although I wish I were. Yes, I have certainly experienced COVID blues and went all gung ho on it and wanted to scream “fuck it”, whip off my mask and burn it in the street, standing naked with freedom written across my tiny breasts, hum I may just have to use my forehead as any part of my body is bigger than my puny chest area. But, of course I did not, as I am a wimp and I certainly did not want to stand in a public street naked. But, mainly it is because I believe in the virus, I believe in science, I believe that the teeny tiny piece of cloth over my mouth and nose, if worn correctly, will keep me safer, people safe and enable us to get this silent virus (unless you’re coughing REALLY loudly) under control. Which means eventually, life will go back to some form of normalcy. Maybe?!
However, people have got their “its my right”, knicker’s in a twist. I have heard, read, watched the rants. As fully grown, usually sane humans throw all their fucking toys out of their pram and stamp their feet, just because a government official has made it mandatory to place a piece of cloth on your mouth and nose. Firstly it would actually muffle your screams and moans about your “rights”. Man I want to swear so much right now, as this is making me beyond angry at how this has become such an issue. Hey, yes wearing a mask isn’t fun, but neither is wearing 6 inch heels (I still do that) or going to the dentist or cleaning up your dogs shit, but we do it, because it is the correct thing to do.
There you are, all messed up because a store or restaurant has asked you to wear a mask to …..
- keep their staff safe, who are working to serve YOU
- keep other public members safe who also need to shop/eat
- keep you safe.
But, some crazy human beings are losing their goddamn minds over this and it is ALL about their fucking rights!!! Hey you’ll have no rights when you may just die of the virus – roughly in America, you have a 4% chance.
Do you lose your shit and mental faculties when you are told to wear your shirt and shoes in a store/restaurant? Um no and that is a way larger piece of cotton. Do you puff up and go red and bang on about your rights, UM NO. There would not be these mandates if human beings were actually cool and put these suckers on, but they do not and we are having surges. So if people cannot do the decent thing, well in come the rules and the fines. You brought it on to your self. Do not want to wear the innocuous piece of fabric, well then, just stay the fuck home and relish in your rights, don’t get angry or dickish about it, read the science, talk to doctors, speak to people who have had the virus. I am sure they do not care about your rights while they are trying to breathe in intensive care.
It astounds me at how up in arms people are about this, I am perplexed, I seriously do not think “big brother is watching me” when I wear my mask. First up they would have a job to recognize who the hell I am, with my mask on.
Your mask is a :-
- double chin godsend
- spot hider
- halitosis saver
- coffee breath extinguisher
- burp holder
- dumb comment muffler
- chin warmer
- UV protector
- eye mask
- head band
- emergency panty liner
- funky wrist band
- back up oven glove
- shit the list is endless and to be honest I’m glad some people have to cover their faces, I just wish Trump would do it more often. .
Lovely people, many whom I love, please, be kind, suck up and cover that goddamn mouth. If you cannot, please stay home and rant on Facebook about how terrible life is, because at least then no one will get hurt.
I love you by the way in your mask anger.
Love Kelly “The Mask” Joy
I would like to introduce you to Mrs. I have No Bloody Idea, a shit show of an educator, a human thrust in to the limelight to teach her children for the foreseeable future.
Her skills lie in baking, science, writing amusing self depreciation blogs, headstands and running long distances. She knows her multiplication facts and is pretty good at percentages. Her laundry skills are shite, but her cooking is pretty good.oh and she knows all the words to the opening scene in Macbeth and all of the Sound of Music.
Which is pretty apt in the current climate
“When shall we three meet again?
In thunder lightening or in rain?
When the hurly burleys done,
When the battles lost and won, that ere will be the set of sun…….. ”
From this very small base she now has to teach a 5 / 8 and 10 year old (who is already way smarter than she)
I would like to apologize to all my children’s teachers for the fuck ups I will make. But know they are loved, safe, brushing their teeth and can cook a mean banana bread 😂
I would like to caveat, that no I will not be ending my life anytime soon. Some days as a parent I just cannot keep up with the demands of being a mother of three small dragons (boys), of being a wife and then meticulously making sure I have time for me. This post was borne from a day when I felt like I just could not keep up.
Drowning in life! An oxymoronic phrase? Not just my life, but the life of my kids, my husband’s life and even the darn cat. Scrabbling to hit all the bases, these lives throw at me and always missing the mark. Treading water and slipping under, allowing the water to slowly seep in, fill my lungs and pull me deeper into the depths of a sweet, dark, silent oblivion.
A world of gentle nothingness. No laundry to be done, no “healthy” dinners to be made, no cleaning to get to, or beds to be changed, no first job or second job to create time for or not fail at, yet excel at and then off to mop and care for my sickened child. Pay bills, change the car oil, activities to sign for, pay for, get to. ALWAYS running late, never on time. With the last-minute shoe searches of three young boys, hanging like shackles on our ankles dragging us back, never on time.
Activities! The dictator of my day, ruling my life with its iron fist. Where each activity cannot comprehend that your kid may do another (god forbid your loyalties are split). Or you have more than 2 kids, each an individual and each wanting to do something uniquely theirs. We have homework, school trips, lunches to be made (uhum they must be healthy or be classed as the shit mum with the unhealthy kid). Snacks to remember, water bottles to be filled, sort clothes into piles that need to be scrubbed and bodies to be bathed. Because, boys seem to be perpetually dirty or covered in a bodily fluid of some sort.
Then there is ME. I must remember me! I want to run and run daily. Running is what keeps me calm and happy. But, sadly this is just another weight tied to my ankles dragging me further into the silt of not enough hours, dark dreams and no air to be found. With a sickly glow of light filtering through the watery murkiness of my fears, that ……
I am not enough.
I will never be enough.
I am failing.
I can never be the person that the life I have created needs me to be.
I am lying in the depths of failure and wishing I could breathe.
Signed – Motherhood 2020
A interview I wrote for a local running group of a local ultra runner.
“Greatness is achieved the moment you decide you cannot do anything else, other than that one thing” Marco Tona – 12.22.19
With his halo of wild curls, enthusiasm for life and relaxed demeanor, on initial inspection Marco Tona comes across like any other regular 22-year-old. Hailing from Destin FL, a student of Exercise Physiology and the third youngest of eight children, he grew up surrounded by family and well loved.
However, not every 22-year-old that you meet has just completed a 24hr. running race and run 100 miles. WHAT you say!?! A 100 miles! Now let us relook at Marco Tona, underneath his big smile and gentle personality there lies an old soul, the heart of a lion and a steely grit that is seldom found in the youth.
Okay, so who is Marco? I sat down and chatted with Marco on a wet, storm riddled Florida winters day to discuss his journey into ultra-running, what drives him and his aspirations for the future. Because at age 22, this is merely the beginning of his great journey.
Let me start from the “Big One” and take you back to his beginning. “Icarus Florida Ultra Fest”2019, a looped road race, where a runner will run as far as they can in an allotted time. Your choices being….
12hr / 24Hr / 48Hr / 72Hr / 144Hr
What they say about the race “What this means for seasoned ultra-runners and new runners alike is that the Icarus Florida UltraFest is not just a place to test your limits, but to abandon them” taken from website.
So, what is it about this race, after running only three 50K (Calootsahatchee, Croom Fools, Washington Red Devils) races previously that made Marco dive off at the deep end and jump straight in to 100 miles? Well, as with all great beginnings and heroes, it started in a bar. Marco goes on to explain that one evening before a long run, he was designated driver, as all dedicated runners are on a Friday night. His epiphany hit! He was finished with the nights out and wanted to push his limits. It was about, in his own words “shattering his ceiling” and really seeing what he could achieve. So in that bar he signed up on impulse for Icarus. Because in the realm of the unknown a person’s boundaries can be found, accepted, crushed, then rebuilt once the core is exposed and they know who they are. It was from that point, in that dingy bar that the training begun. As 100 miles is literally the only step one can take, to really find out what they can do.
In his youth Marco was a swimmer and as he moved into high school he began to run. He joined the cross country and track team as they did not have a competitive swim team. Blazing a trail through 600/800 m distances and the 5K, Marco carried through his running to college. Moving to Florida and continuing his studies, Marco met Aubrey Aldy, (his now trainer) in their local pool and another piece of the puzzle clicked in place. Marco kept running, he dabbled in triathlon and at 21 years old he signed up for his first 50K. Why? To see if running was “great”? So minimally trained and with the zeal that only a 21 year can bring, he completed his first 50K in 6hrs 40mins. The bug had bitten and in his 2nd 50K with some training he took 2 hrs off this time. From here his ascent had commenced. One more technical run, the Red Devil 50K in Washington and his love of endurance running was secured and the next big challenge set.
We went on to discuss Icarus and what it meant to Marco, how the race broke down and what he discovered about himself, as each layer peeled off with every 1.0408 Km paved loop completed. The key was to take heed of Icarus’s story. To listen to and respect your body, to push boundaries but not destroy your limits, to hit the edge but not melt and fall. Fly close to the sun but not too close, because like Icarus you could be doomed and not rise again to complete another loop. Running 100 miles is a fine balance, of training, respect for your body, nutrition, honoring the distance and to push the edge, while holding back. It takes grit and mental toughness, and this is what Marco had to discover and layer it thick upon his enthusiasm base.
After four months of long slow runs, he was hitting he said 50-60 miles a week. Pretty moderate for ultra-training, with most of his mileage scheduled at the weekends and with some double day running, he was ready. Nutrition was dialed in; he likes to use Electrolyte Fuel System (EFS) drink brand and not eat too many of his calories. This helps his stomach and reduces the usage of the dreaded port a potty, that my friend is a whole separate mental game in itself. The long runs revealed his weaknesses, he hit mental barriers and drove past them to more manageable mental ground. Marco said he loved figuring out “where his walls were” and obliterating them.
The Start Line: –
Saturday November 23rd, 2019, 9am, seasoned ultra-dogs and young puppies alike, wait at the start line. Marco is there, mentally steeled, pacers in place, nutrition lined up and they are off, “let the games begin”. Because if you have ever run an ultra, you know that nothing invariably goes to plan. It’s about managing the situation, driving away the demons, embracing the crazy and the crazies around them. Because, to be a person who can step up to this line and cross it and manage the next 24 hrs, that element of crazy must lie deep within you too. As, it is that insanity which will ultimately carry you up to your goal and past it, then vomit what is left of you at the finish line. Kind of like the Exorcist, running 100 miles is like an exorcism, exposing all your demons and making you face them, because that is all you can do when you are exhausted.
Marco’s personal race to victory: –
We discussed in depth his race, how it panned out and what it threw at him. Marco revealed that no matter how tough it got he “never wanted to quit” that was not an option. It was never in his dialogue and he was convinced he would hit his 100-mile goal in 24HRs. Now my friends that is a very good foundation to any personal win. He found a steady pace and stuck to it, now remember this is not easy and he hit two huge low points. He told me that between mile 42-48 he felt terrible, yet he pushed through and only thought of the race loop to loop, his next drink or next piece of food. He was lacking a little in the nutrition and was given Ensure by his pacer and trainer and Marco said that totally put the wheels back on and he felt fabulous, with 15-20g of protein a bottle it was definitely the way to go. Miles 50-70 he felt awesome as the distance and hours ticked by. Through into the night he kept running, lulled by the solitude and hypnotic darkness, relaxing into his stride and putting his mind at rest; the ultimate meditation. Day breaks, mile 80 hits and he tumbles down a crevice of “low”, muscles are locking up, as the lactate acid builds, feet are numb, stinging from over use and at 20 miles to go, his cousin jumps in for 5 miles to eek him through the discomfort. Then his brother steps into pace Marco, who had come all the way from Oahu, Hawaii, to be with him for the race. He ran the final 10 miles with his brother, striding towards his goal. The pain is excruciating, every mile an eternity, but he remains steady, his dream taunting him and waiting for him to grab it with two hands and with a mere twenty minutes to go to the 24HR cut off Marco hits his 100 miles. YES! He hits 100 miles, can you even imagine what that feels like, the pain, the elation, the relief, the tiredness sweeping over, the excitement. AMAZING! His total mileage was 100.29 miles. He crushed it, ringing in at second place.
The Future: –
We go on to discuss his plans for the future, what inspires him, what he learnt from the race and areas he wants to work on. When working on his running Marco takes inspiration from the strengths of the people around him, his trainer, friends, running partners and creates a person of pure inspiration and looks at what he can draw from that. We talk about what he needed to work on, and he said “consistency” in his training, to get out there and run the miles and not be lazy – his own words.
His love of the outdoors drives him and when we talk about his 5 year plan in life and running, he reveals that he is striving to do some faster 50K races and 50 milers, begin to work on doing some long trans through hikes (think PCT – Pacific crest trail and AT – Appalachian trail) and a maybe a 200 mile race. In life he aspires to move to the beautiful, Rocky Mountains of Colorado, indulge his love of technical trails and being at one with nature. While there he aims to utilize his Exercise Physiology major and build up his own endurance coaching business, partnering with shoe companies and work on training and nutrition of athletes. I mean the world literally is his oyster, with his determination, lust for life, intelligence and cool confidence, I feel we will see and hear a lot more of Marco Tona in the years to follow. He truly was a joy to talk to and a person already in tune with themselves, which can take most people a lifetime to discover. I am excited to follow Marco’s journey and to see where he goes from here as he continues to shatter his ceiling and lift higher.
Marco Tona stats
-Favorite sneakers – Altra Torin
-Trademark look – Wild curls
-Thing most people do not know about him – He was a book worm and home schooled.
-Special power – Enthusiasm and excitement to run.
-Furthest run – 100.29 miles.
My latest article on a local runner for a local run / triathlon training team.
“With the marathon you must struggle, you have to move to a painful place.” Erica Szilagyi 1.24.2020
Erica Szilagyi strides out to meet me, expressive hands waving, her voice warm and loud. She is such a petite little thing, but there is no hiding her open, all-encompassing presence, it pretty much socks you in the mouth and then hugs you better. I am quickly guided into her bright and airy conservatory, the evening Florida sun dancing on her fledging paintings, a new skill she is dabbling with. The serenity of the room is an interesting contrast to the woman who has just scooped me up at the front door and thrust a red tea in my hand.
OK let’s stop there! I think before I move on, I need to do a quick Erica statistical run down for you, so you can truly comprehend how epic one woman can be.
Erica in Numbers: –
Years running – 46
Total Marathons – Erica Szilagyi, teacher and mother of three grown women herself, has run 34 Marathons. Yes, people you heard correctly THIRTY-FOUR MARATHONS. WOWSERS!!
Boston Marathon – 12 of those marathons have been at the breathtaking, revered Boston Marathon – The world’s oldest annual marathon established in 1897, which makes it an astonishing 123 years old.
Fastest Marathon – 3 hours 13 minutes – fast.
Fastest 5K – 18 minutes 50 secs – even faster.
Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that at 59 ½ years old (her own words, by the way she does not look a day over 50) that Erica is an animated bundle of running knowledge, a force to be reckoned with, all cemented in a heart of gold. PSSST on another aside, she turns 60 the day before she runs the Gold Label Chicago Marathon, the perfect way to celebrate a new decade of life, don’t you think?
As you can imagine, I was excited to sit down to chat, pick her brain and dig down to the core of what makes Erica tick. Eager to discover the drive that has kept her running all these years, since that day when she first laced up at age 14 years old? To be honest, there is pretty much nothing Erica does not know about running and especially the marathon.
Originally, a native of Philadelphia Erica did most of her growing up in the urban landscape that is Detroit. But, at the fresh-faced age of 20, as the eighties hit; the age of computers, conservatism and end of the cold war, Erica chased the sun and headed south to land in Naples. Via a sojourn in Texas where she went to college and earned her degree in Biology and Nutrition. Her path led her to become a teacher of AP Environmental Sciences and then on to study a master’s degree in counseling. Which is where her skillset now lies, helping teens to become the best possible versions of themselves. What better role model, than Erica herself?
My question to her was, why running? Sure, we could discuss her recent race, the Jacksonville marathon, where she ran a 3 hours 38 minutes with change (impressive). We could chew the fat about her big races of years past. We could skip along her athletic journey. But what I truly want to comprehend is why Erica runs, what keeps her running as she grows older and as her body changes? How does one move through time, life and keep being able to bound through marathon after marathon, still relishing the journey, the struggle and achievement? Of course, with age we slow down. We may peak in our 20’s or 30’s, and then we must adjust our goals or reason to run. Or maybe the reason has always been a constant, never wavering, concrete?
Erica was not a college runner, but she always ran. It was a part of her day, her routine, her wellbeing. I mean, there was no cross-country girls’ team in her high school and with there being no set path to her education, she flitted to different colleges as her degree focus shifted, Erica never settled in a track team. Remember these were different times, Title IX was only introduced in 1972, which brought about equality in sports and increased athletic opportunities for females; hence let’s have a female cross – country track team!
Now comes the history lesson: –
The following is the original text as written and signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1972:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
— Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute (20 U.S. Code § 1681 – Sex)
Did you know It was not until 1967 that Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. She was subjected to disgruntled officials trying to shove her off the course, because at the time women were still deemed unable to compete at these distances.
Did you know that a female was not allowed to run an Olympic marathon until 1984? It was at the L.A games and the race was won by the phenomenal Joan Benoit in a time of 2:24.52
Yet, Erica kept on running. And at age 24 years, completely self-trained, she ran her first marathon. It was in 1984 at the NYC marathon, the same year Joan Benoit ran her first Olympic marathon. Serendipitous? I think so.
Taking another sip of delicious tea (I am British after all), I ask her what it is about that distance she holds so dear? She goes on to explain that the beauty of the marathon for her is, “We have everything in life all laid out, but in the marathon you must struggle, you have to move to a painful place and reemerge to finish. Every time you run one you learn something new.” Erica carries on expressing that running is not something she “needs” but, “it is a part of my life. I do not feel good unless I run. So, I run.” It is a parallel to breathing, eating and being. Without it, things stop ticking over and equilibrium is disrupted.
After Erica’s recent impressive time at Jacksonville, she will be running Boston again for 2020, this will be her thirteenth time, almost four months shy of her sixtieth birthday. How has her training changed? How has she coped with slowing down? Erica confesses, that yes, it is difficult mentally, not to be as speedy as she was in her twenties, but it is the process of the run that is the challenge and the drive, not necessarily her speed. As you can see, she is still kicking ass in her age group. She goes on to explain that strength training has become a greater focus as she has aged, because with age, we lose muscle mass. It is also about respecting her body, avoiding injury and letting her muscles and mind rest. She now does yoga to help with her strength and flexibility. All of this has meant she can still do “that thing” she loves.
If you know Erica, you know you cannot have talk about her running, without discussing Boston, her heart race. I ask her what it is about the Boston that she finds so beautiful and engaging that it keeps drawing her back? She explains that on top of it being the oldest marathon in the world, when Boston is run on Patriots day, the whole city stops, the whole city comes out to cheer, it is a holiday, a tradition and it is a tough course with those hills. Erica’s feet have pounded the course from Hopkinton to Copley Square in 1988, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2001 and then she decided to try her hand at triathlons for 10 years (as you do) and then continued her streak every year from 2012 – 2017, 2019 and now 2020. Need a blow for blow account of running Boston, Erica Szilagyi is your number one resource.
What I love about Erica is her openness, her resilience, her passion and that there is an innate gentleness simmering underneath. This makes her quick to care, nurture and to see the good. She strives to be better. There is so much more to her than what you see. For instance, she paces every year at the Naples Half Marathon, pushing others to achieve their own goals, a pursuit she finds enriching. I want to know more. We move into her five-year plan. What does she have left to achieve, when you have already achieved so much, and this is where you truly see the woman that is Erica Szilagyi?
5 year – run plan
Run the Comrades Marathon (55 miles) in South Africa, it is the world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon established in 1921. Women are currently excelling at these longer distances; I am excited to see her knock this out of the park.
To stay healthy and continue to run.
To continue to run Boston. (You know she will and continue to strive.)
5 year – life plan
To explore, express and celebrate her creativity with her painting and writing. Erica also would like to join the Peace Corps. I could not think of a more perfect person to travel the world and help others.
While interviewing Erica, I certainly did not have enough time, and I most definitely do not possess the adequate vocabulary to give her the written justice she deserves. How can one condense her journey so far, her commitment to her sport, her successes, her challenges in to one article? She is strong and has so much to give. Just like in her twenties, she is still growing, changing and evolving in life and her sport. For me though, I will remain an interested bystander, watching in fascination and delight as she pursues her goals. She will most certainly still crush the marathon. But to see her attempt a longer distance is something I cannot wait to witness, because for Erica Szilagyi even though her speed may be winding down, I believe her true potential is only just beginning to shine through. Erica may be turning 60 years old in 2020, but her running journey is far from finished and may even be just truly beginning.
MORE Erica Szilagyi stats
-Favorite sneakers – Training – Saucony Kinvara, Racing – Nike Vaporfly
-Fuel – Gu, Sports Beans.
-Trademark – A big smile and positive outlook
-Inspirational figures – Betty Lou Tucker from the Gulf Coast runners, still running in her eighties.
-Thing most people do not know about her – She loves to paint, journal and garden.
-Special power – Experience, talent and grit.
-Furthest run – 50K.
I am always in motion. To be honest, I am happiest when I am using my body; gliding through a series of precise movements to get from A (somewhere) to B (nowhere). I revel in change, I thrive off new beginnings in far flung places. Rebuilding my life, my home, my circle of friends once again. I wake before dawn with a longing to fire the synapses and engage my muscles and run. Out the door and down the road, in to the enveloping security blanket of the morning black. Yes, people may think it strange, but if I stop a vice closes over my body and I am trapped, strangled by my own inactivity. My muscles grow tight, shortening fast, as if trying to crush and splinter the bones beneath. I am in the box of my childhood, where a moment in time obliterated my being. Squeezed every drop of life out of me and took away every choice I ever had, and I just had to wait. Wait in the void until I could breathe again, and I could run…..
Why does a child stop eating? A child who is desperately trying to regain some sense of order in her life. A child trying to hang on to any tangled thread of control in her 10 year old hands. That is what makes a child stop eating. A child who wants to become so physically small, that no one can see her. A child who wants to destroy her body, so she can climb back out of her withered chrysalid and be reborn as the butterfly. A butterfly who can rapidly move her wings, and fly away to regain her life, embrace the change and rebuild.
Instead the withered child was placed in a hospital. Thankfully, she was too young to be locked up in the local mental asylum next door, and thrown in a padded room. Instead she was placed in a hospital to be force fed and told not to engage one single muscle. And so I was placed on a months bed rest and that was when I truly died.
I could not run or escape the suffocating darkness that lay on me as I slept. I could not break free in to the sunlight and feel the breeze on my skin. I could not sprint from my fears or my emaciated body. Instead, I was left to wallow on a bed under a exposing strip light; watching my shrunken skin grow yellow and begin to decay. Because there was nothing else, I was left there, incarcerated, straining at the chains to fly away. My choice of movement was once again not my own.
So you wonder why I run, why I want to keep running, why I never want to stop running, because it is my choice, not yours. Why one day I will run 100 miles maybe I’ll run 200, maybe not, but I will run and I will run every day if I want to. Because, It is mine, it moves me away from the forced stillness, the pressure of my nightmares that hold me captive at night. Lost in a dark room, an invisible presence crushing me until all I can see are the veins in my eyelids as I squeeze them so tightly my head hurts. I will let my body move, I will fly out into the light and let the rain lash my face, the wind whip my skin, let the snow settle on my eyelashes and the sun scorch my shoulders. As I run, as I run far, as I run towards life, coping, sometimes winning but vowing to never let movement be taken from me again.