Only half crazy...
Just a week ago I ran my half marathon and I have never felt more alive, more in love with the earth, with life. A million feelings, a trillion, a billion. Not one of them nervousness. Anxiousness. I felt the strength and life, the words of wisdom from Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, telling myself constantly, without fail, "I am a machine." And a machine I was. Not once did I falter, not once did I complain. The first three miles were painful, my calves burned and shrieked in pain. Stop, they told me. Turn back. Take a break. You need to walk it out some. NO, my mind shouted back, blocking out the voices, the pain. You've worked so hard for this. You can't give up now. Sure enough, as I knew they would, the burns subsided after mile 3, and I pushed onward to mile 4, heart thumping, arms pumping, mind wild with excitement and a newfound energy and an old determination that I had not felt in so very long resurfacing. I am a machine. You are a machine. We are all machines. The body is nothing but a series of parts meant to push us forward, propel us through this world. Embrace it. Face it. Conquer it. It can fail us at times, sure, but all machines break down or falter. Yet all they need is a little oil or fuel to get back up and go again.
That day my body did not fail me. And for that I was thankful. For two hours seventeen minutes and at a steady 10:30 pace my music and legs propelled me forward and through the scenic, gorgeous waterside views of Nantucket. Sand and hills, tall stalks of grass, ocean waves crashing in the distance, elegant/high class beach houses standing high on the hills owned by America's most wealthy, a sun beating down from above but a wicked, hair-whipping wind keeping us cool down below. Cars and people lining the streets ringing their cowbells - CLANG CLANG CLANG - HONK HONK HONK - BANG BANG BANG. Making me laugh, making me smile as I trekked on, each mile becoming less menacing, less challenging. I was flying, my soul separated from my body, soaring from above, enjoying it all from high in the sky. A wild safari stretch for a few miles, making me feel like I was in Africa. Kept taking breaks from looking straight ahead or at the ground to steal glances at the wild desert-like landscape, an image similar to an African watering hole. It reminded me of pictures I had seen so many times on the internet, and I slowly but surely let my imagination get the best of me, hoping to see a lion or a giraffe arching its neck to feed from the tall trees that seemed to separate - distinguish - make clear the fact that this was not, in fact, Africa, it was Nantucket (sorry for the triple wording there... sometimes one word isn't enough to describe something regardless of how hard you try to write it). The fact that I was running 13.1 miles, a half marathon, and that I wasn't miserable yet happy to be doing so. At random points during my run, I'd find myself smiling unconsciously, fingers/arms doing random little twirls to the beat of whatever song was playing, silently mouthing the words to all my favorites. Despite being on shuffle, my phone seemed to read my mind and play just the right artist at jus the right time, with the perfect tempo and beat of the drum, strum of the guitar. I was lost in an endless happy mambo, and couldn't distinguish the difference between running and dancing.
I never knew, never thought possible, that running could feel this good, should feel this good. All the training, the struggle, the challenge - Murakami had been right. It had all been worth it. The 5am wakeup, the runs in the freezing, drizzling cold, giving up of attending Tufts homecoming. I was drunk, but not in the traditional sense of the word. A happy, hearty, healthy drunk. Drunk of life. Feeling alive. It felt good to be ALIVE. The feeling I had been searching for for so long had finally presented itself. I had found it. And I can't wait to rediscover it again... Until the next run, the next half. For the key to my happiness, heartiness, and aliveness is healthiness. Cleanliness. It provides confidence.
Scattered fragments of thoughts: fall in love. in love with love. life and love. prosperity, positivity, discovery. music and running. writing. it's the smallest, tiniest of things that bring us closer to ourselves and make it all the better. And some werdz of wizdum from my favorite author:
"TO deal with something unhealthy, a person needs to be as healthy as possible. That's my motto. In other words, an unhealthy soul requires a healthy body. This might sound paradoxical, but it's something I've felt very keenly ever since I became a professional writer. The healthy and unhealthy are not necessarily at opposite ends of the spectrum. They don't stand in opposition to each other, but rather complement each other, and in some cases even band together. Sure, many people who are on a healthy track in life think only of good health, while those who are getting unhealthy only think of that. But if you follow this sort of one-sided view, your life won't be fruitful." - Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running