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Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Running,

Dear Running,

I want us to get back together.  I miss you.  I really, really miss you.  I know you've heard this before but this time it'll be different.  I promise.

When we parted ways last fall, I told myself that I would be fine.  That you were easily replaceable.  After all, I'm still young, in good shape, and open to trying new things.  And try, I did.  I'm not sure you want to hear this, but I experimented.  A lot. And everywhere.  From my bedroom and basement to the gym to the beach.  I even went back to some of the places we used to be together...not to rub it in or anything.

And while it was fine while I was doing it in all sorts of ways in all those different places, those other exercises just didn't satisfy me the way you did.  Walking is...fine but no matter how fast I try to go, it never really made me feel hot and out of breath, like you do.  And group exercise?  Sure it was fun and got me sweaty, but I always felt self-concious.  I couldn't help but look at the other people and compare myself to them and wonder if they were watching me too.  And honestly?  I know other people rave about it, but after about half an hour, I found myself looking at the clock, hoping it would be over soon.

It was never like that with you.  With you, an hour felt like five minutes.  I remember telling my friends that at the height of our relationship, in the weeks leading up to the marathon, we would spend hours together at a time.  They asked me how I could do it.  Wasn't I tired? Bored? Well, I have to admit, I was really sore the next day but not once did I get bored and any feeling of fatigue was concealed by the euphoria I felt after a particularly exhilarating morning with you. In fact, is was that feeling of euphoria that kept me coming back to you, even when we should have cooled off a little.

When I told you that we would need to stop seeing each other last fall, it wasn't because I didn't love you.  Its because I was afraid you would hurt me again.  I should have seen the signs years ago, our first half marathon together.  It was only 10k in or so when I started feeling like something was wrong.  We got though it but when the afterglow wore off, I could barely walk.  But within a week or so, I was fine and came back to you, having completely forgotten the pain you had caused me.  This pattern would be repeated at the Toronto Marathon two years later.  We hit rock bottom a year after that at the New York Marathon.  I was in so much pain but yet I just couldn't bring myself to stop.  We had the best time ever in NYC but as I took my final step that day in Central Park with you, I knew it was over.  I was in therapy for months after that.  And we didn't see each other for a long, long time.

Then in the spring, we tentatively spending time together again.  "This time it would be different," I told myself. I wouldn't get as obsessed.  Instead of the four hours we were spending together for the marathon, I would keep it at two hours, tops (the half marathon).  And we had so much fun together.  In fact, it was the best time I had ever had with you.  I thought we had finally made it.  That you couldn't hurt me any more.

Then the cold weather hit.  It was only  a few minutes into one of our dates and I could barely breathe.  That jealous b*tch, cold-weather induced asthma, was choking me.  Tearfully, I called my sister and she rescued me, finding me shamefully waiting on the corner, gasping for air.  That was the moment when I promised myself that this was it.

But I couldn't do it.  Last weekend, when it was sunny and 14 degrees (fahrenheit), I felt myself longing for you in a way that I have never longed for the treadmill or Zumba.  I needed to feel your ground under my feel, your cool air rushing into my lungs, see your trees and building and houses rush by me. I wanted you to stretch my legs, clear my head, and challenge my endurance in only the ways you can.

However, this time things will have to be different.  I don't think we can be monogamous any more.  Don't be jealous.  Even though I don't love them the way I love you, yoga and weights and core training are good for me.  They make me stronger and being strong benefits both of us so we can be together  without me getting hurt.  Are you cool with that?

 I promise I won't get obsessed with you and if I think that I am starting to get hurt, I'll back off a little until things get better.  I know that you've heard this before but this time it'll be different.  Ok?

So.... are we back together?

1 comment:

  1. OMG love your letter!! I feel exactly the same way about running (although not as passionately as you) and have not met another exercise that gets me so pumped and always me to feel so great at the end.

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