Running taught me many things. It taught me perseverance when things got tough. It taught me to respect the boundaries of a physical body, and to distinguish between when to push myself–and when to take it easy. It taught me my own fierce strength.
And it taught me the times when I felt most fragile were exactly when I needed to go out into the world and smile at strangers.
We are each bound to a body.
And sometimes it isn’t the body we would choose.
Sometimes the boundaries it forces us to live within feel constricting.
But that’s another thing that running reminded me of:
My body is the place of liberation. Of self-expression.
It is my home.
At times, the only real home I’ve had.
The final home.
I was born here.
And I will die inside this skull.
These days, my body doesn’t always offer me the deal I wanted. I can’t go running along those roads anymore. Chronic pain isn’t the life I would have chosen. But this is still my home. If I want to live, this is the deal I get.
So I am learning its new boundaries and developing ways to live within them. And for all the parts of my life I have loved, I love the body that has carried me through them—smooth and proud as the bow of a canoe gliding over silver water.