r u n n i n g

i went running last night, for the first time in months. since i sprained my ankle, really. i was in mccabe, just back from paces with maya and mariana, and jen was still there, in the top floor lounge - it was hot in mccabe, like they can't figure out the heat in there, and so cool and breezy outside, and jen has been running every night recently and it sounded like a good idea. so i went home, at midnight, and put on sneakers and stuff and went out. not for a long run, just half an hour or so, enough to make my blood flow and my face warm and sweaty. then i came home and stretched and took a shower. and today, from the stretching mostly, my legs are pleasantly sore. i should do this more often.

i've never been much of a runner, really. i see the appeal of it but it's not totally my thing. i do it more out of necessity - it's the only convenient thing to do to make myself sweat sometimes - but i'd always prefer to be dancing or doing hap ki do. i want to like running more than i actually like it. still, i do it sometimes. last year, living in pitt, i'd get the urge and just take off out my back door and across the field. sometimes i'd go into the neighborhoods, sometimes into the crum, sometimes - only really early in the morning - i'd even go to the track. that was sometimes my favorite. i'd pull one of my all nighters writing a paper, and be up until about 5:30, and then, instead of trying to sleep for two hours knowing i'd wake up groggy with a headache and still having to print out the paper, i'd just go running instead. one time, after i'd tired myself out running around the track, i came back to the soccer field and did handstands in the dewy morning grass. this was after i'd learned howto do handstands in contact improv. one, i got too enthusiastic and totally flipped over, landing full on my back and knocking the wind out of myself. i remember lying in the wet grass, my body still warm from running, and looking up at the sky that was changing from grey to blue in the morning sun, and though i didn't mind the shock of getting the wind knocked out of me, it sort of instinctually made me want to cry, with the purity of tears that come only from pain, and i gave into the tears... just lay there crying, though i was happy in many ways but i think it was at a time in my life when i needed to be crying. and so it was good. i lay there until i started to get chilled from the cool air and the wet grass and then i got up and went inside and took a warm shower.

patrick was talking today about how sometimes, when he's tired, he just gives into that and sits for a moment apprecciating the feeling of being tired. days after nights when i haven't slept are often like that for me... i sort of revel in the tingling in my body of physical exhaustion. also, i think it has all these positive associations for me because of the times when i usually find myself staying up all night. it used to be uu conferences, and now it's mostly paper writing but occasionally it's a person, and kissing or just talking and all of those things make me feel so good the next day. i know, it seems like paper writing shouldn't be the same way but i think it's the pure release of having it done - because it always gets done, just sometimes not until 7 in the morning when it's due at 9, or whatever...

i love falling asleep when i'm really tired, or eating when i'm really hungry, or making love when i'm really turned on, or exercising when i'm full of energy... i love being tuned into my body and in sync with what it wants. so often i can't be, don't take the time to be. everything is so scheduled... i eat when sharples is open, i sleep whenever i get enough done for the next day and wake up in time to go to work, or class, or whatever... but i guess that's just how it is, most of the time. it just makes it all the more special when things do fall into place.
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© sarah kowalski
updated 11.02.99