It’s about that time..part two in the diaries series; the run edition. I have been running for five months now. I started with a running group which I still attend once a week. I go another two solo. In five months from embarrassed doing a mini lap in the store for shoe advice to anxiously awaiting my first run of the week. I recently did a 90 minute run that I am super proud of! Doing my victory dance of hip-hop head bopping booty shaking again. But seriously how did I get here and where am I going..
 I was that kid that always got picked last in gym class (yep, after the fat kid and after the one with the sprain) and who would pray for a torrential downpour, sick gym teacher or any other reason to not have physical ed. So it goes without saying I never did a sport after school or was a girl who went to the gym. I never got sport nuts or more nicely put sports enthusiasts. Why, in heavens name would I crave to exert, sweating and tiring, myself? What craziness had them possessed. Don’t get me wrong, I get the benefits of exercising, I just never got excited about doing it. And the idea of running around my neighbourhood in sports gear totally left me dazed with confusion. But I get it now, boy do I get it. I got it on my first practise despite feeling nauseous to my pit for two minutes of running. I felt it when I did my first 10 minutes. My first half an hour. My first 55 minutes. My first 70. Right up to the 90. And everything in between. That feeling is waiting for me in my pit every time I lace up my shoes. That feeling is what makes the anxiousness I feel every time I get ready and I mean everytime, the cold and dark of early morning, the pressure on my schedule, all worth it. What I feel is a rush. Sometimes not, sometimes small, sometimes greater. But when it’s greater, it’s euphoric!
 That rush is why I have never skip a run. Why I go in the rain, the dark, the cold or when I feel like a wreck. Why I can and have to do it on an almost empty stomach. It’s more than the sense of accomplishment. I am pumped after a cardio session. Stoked after I do a new yoga pose. But I can sleep after those and often do. I can’t sleep after a run..ever. A rush so good that when I get home, despite physically being spent, you can find me shaking my booty like a madwoman from the tropics (oh, I forgot I am J). Same after class, I bike like a madwoman from the Netherlands, still shaking and bopping. I keep going because I am so pumped and do so until I can barely muster the stairs to take a shower. I only stop moving when my mental catches up. And even then I still have extra energy in my veins.. a little bit of leftover TAKE IT DOWN!
Sometimes it feels effortless but it is never so, especially the start. God, I hate the start but most times I hit that sweet spot somewhere around the three thirds mark. The sweet spot is often just after ‘I can’t do this’, ‘I ache’, ‘my fingers are shriveling’, ‘there is a pain in my side’. It switches to ‘I got this’, ‘done deal’, ‘wings’ and ‘I love this’. It then feels effortless because the physical aspect is no longer important. The mental push that comes when I physically want to tap out. My fingers are frozen, my shins ache and there is a crick in my side but I don’t feel it anymore. It’s about that time I stop counting or start singing aloud if my music is on, when I start smiling and stop caring..about the rain, the passers-by, the to-get done list, the everything else. When my only goal, my only thoughts are the steps I’m taking and want to keep taking. When I don’t hear the whistle or bump up the timer. It’s not about being fast that flying feeling, it's about rising above the effort. It’s weird because it feels like they are not my legs and on the other hand I know it’s me. In the zone and the zone is literally as much of the path under my feet as my eyes can see. Nothing else matters. And that matters. I am restless and have enough to juggle so no matter how quiet and concentrated I seem I’m simply not. For me to reach a focus, in mind and body, is a unicum. Checkmate, baby!
That’s the why and how. The where? That’s the simplest part..as far as I can go. On the way I see goalposts like 10 English miles, 2 hours and 21 kilometres but what I see beyond is the horizon.

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