"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

oh, i got a love that keeps me waiting; i’m a lonely boy

i love to run.

as adults, there are very few moments in our lives when we get to jump and play. and running feels like play to me. it’s inhale-deeply-sunshine-gorging-people-watching-music-pumping-rosey-cheekiness-hair-bouncing giddiness.

i love it when i have to yield at red lights and i get to jump around in place to keep my heart-rate up. i love it when a really great song comes up and my footfalls align with the beat, and i start singing along, even though i’m short on breath. i love how everyone on the street responds to runners. they gawk with awe, like they’ve never seen joggers before. i love it when it’s chilly outside and the cold air sharpens my inhalations & reddens my cheeks. i love jogging in my massive Oakland Raiders hoodie that an old boyfriend from high school forgot at my house (and i claimed as asshole-tax).

when i was a little girl growing up in rural Quebec, there was one week when school was shut-down because we were snowed out. the snow was literally higher than our garages. mum and dad still had to go to work, and my sister still had to go to high school, so i was left home alone. mum gave me $2 every day (which was a massive amount in those days) to rent a movie to keep me occupied until she got home. i had to walk a kilometre in those torrid winter conditions to the closest video rental place, and a kilometre back.

it may sound like hell, but i LOVED that week. even as a child, i used to love long, difficult physical activities, despite the freezing temperatures. why? because it gave me time to think.

walking two kilometres roundtrip every day with that $2 bill burning a hole in my pocket (yes i said bill…this was eons before we had the twoonie) was thinking-woman’s mega-heaven. i would craft stories up in my head and then race home to write them.  i would make-believe i was a great explorer in an uncharted lands. i would prepare what i would say for future conversations.  i would kick the crap out of snowmen along the way. i would think about my life, which was still in its infancy at that point, and ponder with wonderment about all of it. sometimes i would just watch the scenery around me, and wonder about the people scurrying about that small town. who are they? where are they going? will i ever see them again?

running is like a return to that week. i still craft stories up in my head and then race home to write them. i still make-believe, except now i’m running from secret agents and spies from Russia. i still prepare myself for future conversations. i now leave the snowmen alone, but i will splash a few puddles or jump in leaf-piles. and i still think about my life, which has much deeper problems now although i’m better equipped to handle them.

and yes, i still watch people go by, and  i still wonder what their lives must be like. and i hope to see them again.

sometimes, we need to stop screaming into the void, and take a quiet, thinking-break.

running is how i navigate through my thoughts.

i guess we all have our thing.

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9 responses

  1. Interesting, I’d never heard of a twoonie until today. I used to run a lot. For fun and for the sense of accomplishment. I don’t do it as much now, but I still have the urge to scream into the void from time to time. Lately, I have been doing mindfulness of breathing meditation. It’s been great, and I swear it makes me a better writer. But, like you said, “we all have our thing.”

    November 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    • Us Canadians have lots of colourful names for things, but we like to keep em secret:)
      I enjoy meditation as well, but I get some of my best thinking done when Im doing strenuous activity! Weird, eh?

      November 10, 2011 at 1:40 PM

  2. It makes sense to me! Exercise has a way of exposing some thoughts for what they really are; mind poop.

    November 10, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    • I can assure you that I never mind poop. All gems, these thoughts are.

      November 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM

  3. Lovely nostalgia, thanks for posting. I loved that time of life when you were alone in the snow…it brought young life into focus and opened my mind to the future…much as you describe.

    November 16, 2011 at 9:22 AM

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