Walking Around

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
From walking home to a half marathon

Submitted: July 21, 2009

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Submitted: July 21, 2009



I walked home every day all through middle school, and for my freshman year of high school. My junior year and the first half of my sophomore year, I skateboarded everywhere I had to go. After that I got my drivers license and just kind of reveled in the ability to go near or far quickly. I didn't actually want to go anywhere with any vehemence, but I did want to show myself that I could, so I spent quite a few nights coasting up and down hills and one or two stops down the freeway in the small hours of the morning, always with all the windows down and warm air swirling and buffeting around in my old red station wagon. Despite this radical shift in my habits, I remembered how much I had walked to get around, and I had the impression that I could walk, if not run, pretty much as far as I had to go. My stepmom debunked this theory when she started signing my dad and i up for races. The first one was just a 3 mile fathers day race, but we still ended up having to train alot, and my dad and I still both finished last place in our age brackets. My stepmom has run a few marathons, and so this was easy for her, although she didn't finish first. Before that race I had time to stretch my left leg, but not my right and that plays a part in the rest of the story. Anyway, the race was horrible and it was brutal disgusting hot and muggy Maryland summer weather. But we finished the race and all swore that we never wanted to run again. But "somehow" we were signed up for a half marathon the next year. So we trained and trained and ran for 2 months and I started to notice that around 2 miles my right leg would always start to get numb and stiff and feel like wood while my left leg was unnaffected. It really sucks to run unevenly. The half marathon race brochure said that it featured gentle rolling hills, (in New Hampshire), and we knew that the temperature had been in the low 70's lately. The day we arrived at the course it was 92 degrees in the morning, and it seemed to be rising. The we got to the starting line and realized that in New Hampshire, "gentle rolling hills" translates to "Giant torturous fucking mountains". We started running anyway. we ran and ran and ran and passed the pathetic 3 mile marker that we had struggled toward in the first race. All I can ever think about when I run is the quote from fight club that says, "I ran. I ran until my muscles screamed and my blood turned to acid. And then I ran some more" I ran like that. I felt my legs turn to wood, jelly, ice, fire, and something not neccesarily unpleasant, but very confusing. Then from the unbearable heat came shade and clouds. But from the clouds came rain that knocked branches onto runners and made it almost as bad as when it was hot. Now we were cold and our shirts had gotten 20 pounds heavier. We finished, collapsed, and I would describe more, but I was essentially passed out. I remember that I was cold and that someone kicked me. No matter how far you think you can make it, people all have limits.

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