Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jess Goes Running: Lately

Running lately has felt like such a dream. If I am lucky enough--and this week I have been every single time--I reach that magical moment where my feet fall into a rhythm and my breathing is on point and I could run forever. Four times I’ve been this week and each venture has presented its own challenges, but, I can feel myself growing stronger every day.

And Chicago! I love living in the city, exploring the neighborhoods that surround us, remembering familiar spaces from many years ago. It’s nice to have returned back after all these years; it’s nice to exist in the city by the lake. The other day, I ran down to Wrigley Field (the same day that there was a 7:05 p.m. game, meaning Wrigleyville was packed) taking the Lakefront Trail to get there. It was exhausting but so gratifying. Yesterday, I went out on an easy run and passed through Andersonville, looping back around onto Glenwood via Clark and Bryn Mawr. God, I feel so alive when I traverse these sidewalks, always looking up and out.

I feel like I’m seeing the world through a more vibrant lens lately. I feel lucky to be having the experience, but also a little overwhelmed. We’ve both been doing a lot of growing over the last year and sometimes it can be hard to deal with that. When I’m out running, none of it matters except the soles of my shoes hitting the pavement, my body in constant fluid motion. To think of how far I have come in just a few years is pretty astounding, and it fills me with delight that I am still continuing to improve. I have big goals for myself. Which means going out on a run even if I don’t really think I want to.

Because the truth is, I never regret going. Even yesterday, I wasn’t really feeling it, but I had a few really good strong points during the 2.6 miles and ultimately really enjoyed the route. I am only starting to scratch the surface of everything our neighborhood holds but I like what I have seen so far. And being able to experience it during such a singular and exhilarating and powerful moment--the art of running, the breeze off the Lake, the sunshine filtered behind cottony, bright clouds… it leaves me wanting more. And it is in these moments that I absolutely love running, that I will always look back at the very first run on that cold February day and be proud of how far I have come.

A feeling of strength and determination. Complete inner peace. A sense of balance and harmony with one’s surroundings. Those instances I am unable to put into words. This is what I find when I’m out there. And even on that bad days, those more challenging runs, I know that it will be worth it, that I will be glad I went (and I always am). I am happy and I know that I am beyond lucky to be a runner.

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