Run. Run. As fast as you can

Stephen King said, “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

The RemembeRed memoir assignment this week,  from Write on Edge, asked us to write a memoir post inspired by that statement – in 300 words or less.

The energy of the crowd surrounded me. I tried to sink into the excitement. I pretended to be strong and fearless. My friends paced and pranced, our race numbers pinned proudly to our chests. Hours alone in my quiet and private basement seemed insignificant. I could stop whenever I wanted; take a break when it got too hard. But this, this was public: hundreds of women and young girls chatting and laughing loudly.

Burning the last few pounds of baby weight required effort. Besides having a baby, that year was difficult. I missed my friends and family. I missed Texas and I endured a custody battle. DW had been a rock, but I still felt so disconnected from myself.

A friend suggested a 5k as a goal. I could train indoors all winter, race in the spring. I ran every day. Some days were easier than others. I listened to music, keeping pace with the low hum of the treadmill, following the deep rhythms of the bass lines. I got lost in the lyrics. I didn’t have to think.

But as I stood on the blacktop, shivering in May’s early morning chill, I felt panic. Several friends decided to run, both for the experience and for encouragement. They had watched me struggle all year. Some had prayed with me, or for me. Others brought meals and offered babysitting.

Now we ran together.

Without music, my mind focused on the sounds of my body. The pavement felt strange. I felt unstable as I reflected on the previous year. Two miles in, I started to cry. It was not out of pain or exhaustion, but from relief. Relief that the year was over and I had survived. I was stronger and I had been fearless. I ran until I was empty.

That's me, #118 in the middle, at my first 5k

About these ads

About My Pajama Days

I am Emily Okaty Wilson, freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. It sounds better than saying I stay in my pajamas all day eating salt and vinegar chips. I claim to be a wife, a mother, a homeschool teacher and a musician. Sometimes I'm funny.
This entry was posted in My Pajama Ponderings, Writing Prompts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Run. Run. As fast as you can

  1. Mom says:

    Very nicely written, Daughter. Full of emotion.

  2. Galit Breen says:

    This post? Is amazing.

    You really dug deep, and then shared more.

    I felt what you ran for and the tears, too.

    Seriously girl, go you!

  3. Mihee says:

    This is lovely and moving. Something about running helps us get more in touch with our feelings…the lines blur between the physical and emotional. Good for you in all that you endured this year…

  4. I am so proud of you, for all that you endured. And I love that you cried during the race. Sometimes, the relief is just overwhelming.

    What a lovely description of such an intense time.

  5. angela says:

    Wow, this is beautifully written. I am glad you were able to use running to heal like that. Though racing without music? That takes more inner steel than I have. I need the distraction :)

  6. I am so impressed. That had to be such a good feeling. Thanks for sharing – good choice for the prompt!

  7. Kir says:

    Wow Emily…you’re amazing!!!! I could feel all these emotions with you, the push, the indifference , the rote nature of just running and the flood of feelings, the realization that you had put it behind you. I sighed at the end with you!

    Well done!

  8. sportsjim81 says:

    Love it! As someone who has run two marathons, I remember like it was yesterday, standing at the start of 26.2 miles wondering if I was really ready. For you, it seems there was more too it than the physical readiness…and I’m glad to hear you overcame it all. What a great feeling it must have been!

    PS- thanks for talking me into trying the prompt. I had a blast and have received so many great comments from new folks!

  9. Miriam Joy says:

    Love this post. I like what you saying about getting lost in lyrics, and how listening to music meant you didn’t need to think. That’s exactly why I listen to it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s