As someone with a personality of the “grass is greener”, the next adventure is always better, my favorite race is always the next race, it can be hard to reflect on the past (unless, of course, I’m using it as training or motivational tool). I hadn’t been back home in over a year when I returned last week to drop Gyps off with her Pop before leaving on our trip. Since it had been so long, I decided to take the time to reflect a little bit on my past . . . and what better way to do that than on a run.
I started my run as I had done for over ten years – I ran out of my parents’ driveway, out of their sleepy neighborhood, and onto the busy “highway”. Before I had even warmed up, I passed the spot that was exactly 1.5 miles from home. I knew this without looking at my watch; this was my regular turnaround spot for years because who needed to run more than 3 miles at a time?
I did the loop where, when I felt froggy one day, I ran 5 miles for the first time ever . . . after which I thought I was going to die and was sure no one else had ever run that far. I ran past my old high school where I lived it up from 2000-2004. While there, I thought I had found my permanent identity, a hodgepodge of hippie/jock/nerd . . . and I guess that still stands in some form or fashion (mostly in the form of running. And the hippie part of me has calmed down a bit). I saw the softball fields that I thought would be my future and my ticket out of town.
All of these places and experiences shaped and molded the present day me — for better or for worse. For instance, my right arm will always be massively bigger than my left thanks to 10 years of pitching/softball. I recognize the importance of acting like everyone is watching because, well, they were. I appreciate the “big city” of Nashville. On runs, I learned how to hurdle road kill, how to dodge trucks who think it’s funny to drive directly at you while you’re running, and how to answer cars that pull over asking “do you need a ride?”.
Even though I won’t stop obsessing over what I’ll race next year or the next or where I’ll live in the future (looking at you, CO), it was a cathartic and cleansing visit to the past.