Today, I went running. I've never been a runner. My best friends all run. They run miles, they run marathons. I have always been more casual about it. I can run. I just don't.
My sister has this thing about how your life is your 'story'. What kind of story do you want to tell? What story suits you? Are you aware of the story you're actually telling? She read it in a book. Unlike me, she is quiet about what she thinks most of the time. So when she opened up about this notion of 'story', it stuck with me. I never thought of it that way. It's so simple. Today, I thought, I'd like my story to be about a girl who runs. So, I ran.
At the Silver Lake Reservoir, you can run in one of two directions. One way around, you go up the hill; one way around, you go down the hill. I chose the path that leads up the hill and off I went.
I smiled at other runners. I dodged dogs and strollers. I kept going when I wanted to stop and walk. I sang tunelessly the way you do when you're wearing headphones and can't hear your own voice. I felt the warm sun of Southern California in January. I felt how happy putting one foot in front of the other could make me.
I ran at the perfect pace and when I got to the hill, I pushed and pushed all the way up. I made it to the top, and a memory struck me. I remembered what it was like to run down big grassy hills in bare feet. I remembered what it was like to take your foot of the brakes and just go because the worst that could happen is falling down and having to roll the rest of the way. So, I turned around. I let gravity take me. I let my feet hit the pavement too hard, I let my body fall forward. I stopped running uphill and remembered how good it felt to run down, to let the earth give you speed you'll never reach on your own. It felt good. It felt right. It felt like the story of a girl who runs.