I went for a run today.
I had been running, alone, for over a year. Then I started dating this amazing guy who also shared my passion for running. We started to run and do other activities together. I even shared my secret running location; that place where I went when I needed to clear my head. It was great because his pace is/was faster than mine so he’d take off down the trail/course and I’d quicken my pace after him. Hey he’s cute and that will cause any girl to run faster. I liked to joke with him how I always knew when he crept into my thoughts or I saw him when I ran because my heart rate went through the roof (I had proof). Then WHAM! Things changed and my desire to run (and eat for that matter) disappeared. Left in their wake were shadows. Shadows of him.
I was required to come to Germany for work. ShooterGirl ordered me to pack my running clothes, just in case, she said. I was in no mental state to disagree with her. I dutifully packed my clothes and got on an airplane devastated and with zero desire to run.
Directly across the street from where I am for work is a park. The Germans are “big on trails”; I was told. The first two days I was here I just looked at it. Shadows. Lots of shadows. I miss him. I miss chasing him. I miss the laughter. I miss our talks. Luckily, the weather matched my mood and it was cold, rainy, and dark.
On day three, while the sun was still not making an appearance it had stopped raining. A dear friend of mine said to me, “Go run. You ran before him. It was something you did with him. Don’t let him take that from you.” I mulled it over.
Today, day four, I woke up and the sun was still on strike. After sitting through several hours of folks sniping at each other in a conference, where my head kept wandering to the shadows in my mind, I decided I needed to try to run. At lunch I broke away from the group and whispered to a colleague, I’m going running. I’ll be back late. She nodded her head and off I scampered to change my clothes.
According to the hotel clerk the park had both paved and unpaved trails. I had no clue where I was headed I just knew I had to try to chase the shadow. I’m still not sure if I’m chasing the shadow or trying to chase the shadow away. My feet landing on the trails made little to no sound. All I could hear was the sound of my breathing.
As I passed my first mile the momentarily quiet in my head was overwhelmed by the tsunami of emotion that washed over me. I miss him. Every moment. Every day. Over and over this ran through my head. My legs kept turning over as the tears rolled down my face.
By mile 2.5 I snapped out of my fog of memories and thoughts long enough to realize that I needed to turn around. Lunch was only an hour and as much as I needed to keep going, for myself, my job was not paying me to play hooky. I made a direct path back towards my hotel room for a quick shower.
When I hit stop on Coconut (my TomTom) I had logged nearly 4 miles. I craved 4 more. Damn you responsibilities.
The shadows are there. They will always be there. Some people never leave a trace while others leave permanent fossilized footprints. But today I went for a run and today that has to be enough.