Quote of the Day – Run, Alex, Run

Sweat cleanses from the inside. It comes from places a shower will never reach. – George Sheehan

I miss running. The pounding of my feet. My legs stretching out as my stride extends those long-forgotten muscles in my calves and thighs. My arms pumping and hands in a loose curve. The sound of the air rushing past my ears as my breath sinks into the wind. In. In. OUT. In. In. OUT. The same pattern of breathing that I’ve had since my first race sixteen years ago. Even my lungs stretch and release to new capacities in the quest for more oxygen to support my quickening movement.

I haven’t run in two years. I remember, as a young child, my friend J’s mom inviting me to run races with J. Because I’m built like a runner. I declined without knowing what I was missing and didn’t begin racing until fourteen years old. I was a varsity cross-country runner in high school and dreamt of running longer distances in college and beyond with my sites set on ultra marathons. I subscribed to Runner’s World and babied my running shoes. (Asics, baby, all the way.) But I stopped running after graduating high school, and it took me over ten years for me to join a race again.

I finally committed to train for the Ukrop’s 10K in 2008. I cried when I crossed the finish line. By finishing the race, I had tangible proof that the joy, which I had lost somewhere between early high school and my mid-twenties, was found again.

But two weeks after the 10K, I stopped. I didn’t sign up for anymore races. I’ve always been the runner who needs a goal, but I just didn’t find another race that I was willing to commit my time. And even with my love of that particular 10K race, I was pregnant with N last year. And this year, with two children under the age of four plus starting my blog and other writing endeavors, I didn’t believe that I had the time.

But yesterday running down the beach at full speed, I remembered my love of the run. And my body remembered the love of the movement. Of stretching to my limits and having my body cross my self-imposed line. An although I’ve kept so much of the joy from crossing the finish line back in 2008, I want to run again.

I need to run again.

PS. In case you think that I fell back in love with running at top speed on my own accord. Oh, motherhood. Forcing me to grow one panicked stride at a time.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

9 thoughts to “Quote of the Day – Run, Alex, Run”

  1. Oh, I want to start running again, too. Before it's too late. I used to run in college, and now I've stopped.
    I'm afraid I'll have a heart attack if I begin again, and I can't afford a defribilator to take along with me.

    “Use it or lose it.” That scares me.

    I think the first step is good shoes, don't you? With sand, though, you can just run barefoot and exfoliate your feet at the same time 🙂

    Lovely pictures.

  2. Start small. How about run/walk? (although because i ran competitively the
    idea of walking to train is hard on my ego.) Or a short race. You can do
    it!! And OF COURSE you should buy the shoes… they are the most important
    part of any event 😉

  3. There once was Flight Attendant Chara. She knew NO bedtimes and had fun ALL the time. After all, her job was fun, when she was home she had no responsibilities. Ahhh…that was the life. Then she became Teacher Chara and was a stressed out disciplinarian. On Fridays it took her all evening to decompress to enjoy her weekend. By the time she worked it out, it was time to start over. Then she became Mother Chara and found a happy medium in between the two personalities (except for Dancing Chara which is another story/personality for another time). I have often been asked by my other half if Flight Attendant Chara could make more appearances though. Hah! I guess in life, there are always ebb and flow. Maybe my Flight Attendant Chara will run into Running Alex out there somewhere.

  4. Ooh, Flight Attendant Chara sounds SAUCY.
    And Dancing Chara and I are DEFINITELY going out one night when our better-halves are planning to get up with the kids the next morning. Because I LOVE ME SOME DANCING.

  5. With you on the ASIC's. Also a HUGE fan of Run-Walk…You gotta try it! (then again… there's always walking… as I do these days:)

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