Run, Girl, Run

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

I’ve always been that person who enjoys going for walks or occasionally tying up some shoelaces and going for a run. I remember as a kid, I’d go for walks with my sister and we would talk, catch up, express our feelings about what’s been occurring in our lives.

I’ve never been on any sports teams in school, I was too into my school work to focus on a sport I wasn’t really interested in. Being a young girl, I was into racing my friends, riding my bike, going to summer camp at Riverbank State Park where we would run track and swim. I was the true definition of a tomboy and somewhere under the polished nails and sleek ponytails, it’s still there.

Fast forward to my teenage years, I found myself looking forward to these walks and occasional runs. I’m not sure if it’s the New Yorker in me but walking/running gives me a sense of clarity, a moment to collect myself and analyze my thoughts.

Most recently, I have decided to commit to going running once a week, very early in the morning when the streets are graveyard empty and the sun has just risen above the residential buildings. I take my runs in Central Park and the pavement in front of me feels like an obstacle I need to overcome. With the wind kissing my face and my legs carrying me across approximately 3.5 miles of cement, I feel a surge of victory every time I finish.

During this run is when I feel my most vulnerable, my most honest self. No makeup, no text messages or phone calls, I am completely alone. Alone in my thoughts and feelings. Going over the past few days behind me, discarding bad energy, savoring the lovely moments and thanking God for another beautiful sunrise.

Treadmills make me feel like a hamster, confined to a horrible replica of the beautiful pavement I would much rather have pounding beneath my feet. To each’s own though, at least you’re getting your heart rate up. There’s something about running in a park that takes you out of your mental cage. The leaves swaying beside you, loose brown leaves dancing in front or beside your feet, the sun making cameos to warm your sweaty face, and the music to give you the rhythm and the adrenaline to make it to your end goal.

Running is another form of therapy in the same way poetry saves my life. It is a moment of escape from where I am and I get to become unavailable to all those who know me. Those 30 minutes are crucial for me. It is recurring date to self repair, a time where I can become anew with a fresh outlook and let go of anything that’s been holding me down. Most of the time, I run because it makes me feel good, really good. I am a person who enjoys their solitude and this is one sure way to get it.

Central Park
Central Park