On running

November 12, 2015 § 2 Comments

Finally, after a summer of heartache followed by almost crippling depression, came the walking phase. After a hectic routine of lying under my coffee table weeping, I had reached a point where I had to get outside and see daylight. I wanted to feel the breath of warm air on my skin; I yearned to feel the blood circulate around my body again … Half-deranged by weeks of erratic sleeping — nights spent enervated and panicky followed by sluggish, heavy-limbed days — I decided in desperation that physically exhausting myself might make the nights seem a little more welcoming. I longed to yearn to lie down at the end of the day, legs aching from use rather than the anxious jiggling they did under my desk for hours on end.

from ‘Running like a girl
by Alexandra Heminsley

When I was twenty-five, I took up running to cure my own case of heartbreak. I lived by the beach (a different one then), and so I picked out my four-kilometre course, from one jetty to the next and back; and then I ran.
And the heartbreak lifted. Running brought me the simplest joy I’ve ever known, in fact — until I developed runner’s knee.
Twenty years later, I’ve started running again.
The joy’s still there …
… but so is the runner’s knee.
I won’t give up hope, though: running is the best salve I know.
Cross your fingers for me?

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