Running

February 13, 2012

I’m an avid runner. On average I run about 5-6 times a week. I hit trails, run around Lake Merritt, or spend about an hour on the treadmill. Running is so second nature to me that it wasn’t until very recently that I began to ask myself what exactly am I running from. I mean of course I’m trying to stay in shape and speed up my metabolism a little, which at the age of 30 seems to want to stand still. But I feel like it’s deeper than that.

For example I write to express feelings that are impossible for me to verbalize and I box to blow off steam, however, my reasons for running 5-8 miles a day is something that I don’t have a complete answer to. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both. After all I do blow of a lot of steam when my feet are rhythmically pounding the pavement and I am outwardly expressing my desire to reach the finish line, but really why am I so compelled to run. I’m not training for a marathon and I’m not a slave.

Often times I’ll tell myself that I’m going to spend a whole day writing and the next thing I know I’m on some trail deep in the hills hoping local coyotes don’t smell my sweat and decide to attack me. I don’t know. It’s kind of bizarre. It’s like when I’m running with my I-pod blasting I feel like I’m floating through my own self-contrived galaxy.  It’s definitely a form of escapism; yet I wonder why I need to escape so often. Like this one story I’m working on. It’s very personal but instead of sitting down and cranking it out as soon as I look at it I put on my sweat pants and my sneakers and head out. Lately I’ve been feeling like a shot fighter who sees his opponent’s mistakes but can’t capitalize on them by letting his hands go and throwing a punch. I fear that I’ve become too guarded to be an effective writer. Instead of molding my issues into art I just want them to go away. It’s like I really want peace but I’m no longer willing to fight for it, or in my case I’m no longer willing to write for it. So I run.

When I was a boy I was led to believe that only the most cowardly of men publicly display their emotions. Now that I am a man I feel like a coward for not being able to express what makes me human.

I need to stop running.

-YB

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