In the madness of my constant overthinking, I discovered something precious. There is nothing more divine than “easy silence.” In the past, I would take long walks which later turned into long runs. The desire was initially sparked as I wanted to get in better shape. The first few weeks were gruesome. I would have to give myself a daily pep talk to encourage my feet to move, one foot in front of the other. As a short-legged, smoker, with shin splints,  I had array of excuses. In my second month of forced motivation, something changed. Endorphins kicked in and I began to look forward, actually crave, my afternoons of “exercise.” One mile turned into three, then four, then five and I was addicted. I refused to walk with friends. I refused to join a gym. This was my time of the day, entirely mine. Eventually, I learned of why this was such a refuge for me. It was the only portion of the day where my brain would become free of thought. No obsession. No analyzing. No worry. No stress. In this absence of thought, I found peace.
 
As aforementioned in a previous blog, the tornado in April of ’08 destroyed my home. What I failed to note was the tornado also robbed me of neighborhood walking and running. Before, I lived in a neighborhood where I felt safe. Often times, I would run when day light was no longer and even amid  the darkness, I never felt afraid. Also, it was beautiful. The trees canopied the streets and each road presented new hills, new homes, new scenery. I took this for granted, as we often do. I can’t run on a treadmill. I want to feel the pavement. I want to really sense the distance. My life is full of running in place, so I refuse to do so in the literal sense. I now live in an apartment, and though I like my new space, I miss my old street. As the old adage states, “if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” Since the running has halted, the desire has as well. I no longer remember the feeling as well as I should. I attempted to run (treadmill style) and grew obsessed with the calories I burned, my average “pace,” the time I’d spent running (I’m lying, I was walking) on the damn thing and the freaking time remaining before my time was “up.” I tried a few more times, hopeful of the change awaiting me, but only grew more bitter and decided to eat some cheese dip instead. Or was it ice cream? Or was it cheese dip and ice cream? Point is, treadmills are the devil!