In two days — fewer, actually— I’ll run my first race.
Wait— no. I’ve run a handful of races. This one will be my inaugural half-marathon. I’m still not sure how we got to this point where I’m flying across the country to sweat away a couple of hours among redwoods. What I do know is that having running as a constant has helped with the endless chatter in my head, a battering ram of thoughts.
Lately, these thoughts are mostly apologies. Everywhere, apologies. I can’t stop second-guessing myself, and I feel like I’m walking all over my tongue.
I’ve fought the desire to explain myself at least 10 times today.
I’m hoping a week of crisp air, and the Pacific ocean, trees, waterfalls, greenery and fresh fish will help me with this, help me unwind some of the knots that have moved from my back to my neck to the very back of my mind, where they lurk and further pretzel in on themselves.
Running will likely be out of the question for most of this week, except for very short runs, but S. told me of a gorgeous 9 mile trail near her place outside of Portland, which sounds like exactly the place to work through some of these knots.
One knot looks like J, and sounds like his voice when he said, “this will be the last first time you have to tell that story,” and it’s almost worked out, until it isn’t.
One knot looks like me when I asked someone whether they shared a last name with their mother. Not out of malice or assumption, mind you, but because I share a last name with neither of my parents and none of my siblings and was genuinely curious. It’s a loaded question, I asked it without thinking, and offered no follow-up. And I feel like a tool for that. Why is it my business? It’s not.
One knot looks like me as a side chick refusing to acknowledge her status as such, but knowing the truth behind the silence and stealth.
One knot is my mother, and the forgiveness I should have for her, but can’t seem to muster the energy to put forth.
One knot is every excuse I’ve made to avoid embarking on life changes I want and need.
One knot is the fear I’m not good enough to embark on those changes. The good thing is that this bundle, though almost always shifting in shape and size and density, does seem to be getting smaller.
My back and shoulders and neck constantly ache. No amount of stretching, of rubbing, can untangle these muscles. But everything stored in them means it’s no longer in my head, until I remember how tired I am of carrying all this weight burrowing between fibers.