Running reminds me that I am alive. I am still breathing–even if it is the raggedy breath from struggling up a hill, and coping with all the tree pollen that is in the air right now. I am still here.
Running reminds me that my body is strong, that I am capable. I can push myself further than I thought I could. It reminds me of what it was like when I was a kid, and had boundless energy, and felt like I could do anything that I ever wanted to do.
Running outside reminds me to connect with the rest of the world, the natural world. It reminds me that I am part of a bigger picture. It reminds me to look around in wonder at the trees, listen to the birds, listen to the sound of my feet on the tarmac, to feel the breeze against my arms, the sun/rain/mist on my face.
Running reminds me the importance of taking this time for myself. Just 20 minutes to move, to think or not think, to be with myself.
Running was what I needed this morning especially, as I am dealing (again) with loss. A friend of mine, and my co-facilitator for a queer women’s group last semester, committed suicide earlier this week. We were not particularly close, but I considered her a friend, and she was a part of the queer community on campus that I consider family. We are all in shock and struggling to deal with this sudden and unexpected loss. We have been supporting each other, making sure we are not alone in this, remembering our friend. And today, I went running with my neighbor, another form of self-love/support/working through grief.