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.