Love is how I want to smell you all the time, because you smell like boy and sweat and deodorant and campfires, and I think I could breathe you in all day. And love is morning walks to breakfast on the weekends and the coffee we drink and the babies we talk about as if we might have one of our own someday. Love is planning an uncertain future with certain details such as bathtub size, dog breeds, and vegetable gardens. Love is lying in bed and never wanting to leave, because you are naked and so am I, and I don’t think I could ever be more happy than this moment right now. Love is brushing our teeth side by side and morning kisses before class and when you pick me up so I can be the koala and you can be my tree. Love is you and me.
Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.
Why do I, and everyone I love, pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?
We accept the love we think we deserve.
AKA a marathon of memories
My best friend in the entire world, Trice, prepared for this race for over six months. I am pretty sure she registered in August. As for me, I signed up at the last minute. January 5th or something like that. I was not sure I really wanted to do a marathon. I knew that I, at some point in my life, thought about maybe possibly someday doing a marathon. I am a runner by definition, so it just seemed like the natural course of action. However, when I started actually training for the marathon, I began to second guess how much of a real runner I really was.
Because it hurt.
15 miles hurt. So did 16. So did 18. I didn’t even do 20. The entire reason I even showed up at the starting line on January 26th is because Trice made me. I never would have done this without her, trust me. I need to have a moment of confession here that might be shocking to some people that know me well, but here goes anyway: I suck at training. Given the chance to stay in bed versus wake up and do a measly slow jog, I always choose bed. I do just about anything to avoid running (valid excuses include, but are not limited to: it is too hot, it is too cold, I just ate too much, I did not eat enough, I have class in 2-8 hours, I would have to take a shower if I ran right now, I need a nap, I need to spend some quality time with my dog, I need to spend some quality time looking at cat videos on the Internet, etc etc etc) . I even contracted some horrible hacking cough/cold/flu type virus in my lungs to avoid doing this marathon. (Trice made me go on antibiotics… she is a trooper, I tell ya. I think she really did not want to do this thing alone).
There is this funny thing about long distance running where you know you’re crazy. Normal people don’t do this. But there I was, at the starting line of my first marathon, and I felt absolutely and completely in my element. These are my people. This is where I belong. Everyone was embracing the crazy chaotic notion of doing something ridiculously hard just for the sake of it being ridiculously hard. I found myself more excited than anything else.
It was the most beautiful, perfect day for running. 50-some degrees and sunny. Callaway Gardens is gorgeous, and Trice and I chattered for the entire first half about how nice the day was, how pretty the lakes were, how happy we were that North Hall hills had prepared us for any and all mountains put in our path, how Charlotte from Sex and the City tries to act like a prude but is really a super slut so she should just stop pretending, and all other kinds of topics your mind wanders to when you have nothing else to do but think and run. At mile five, we were optimistic. “I don’t want to say that I am optimistic at mile 5,” Trice said, “but I am feeling really optimistic!” (side note: I told her I would quote her on that, but I was feeling really great too!) We did the first half slow and easy in 2 hours and 15 minutes. We were both optimistic and smiling as we passed the 13.1 mark, and Mom ran to catch our picture, which she almost missed due to the fact she was chatting up some new “friend” she had made on the sideline (no surprises there).
The ache began to set in around mile 16. At mile 18, there was a massive hill (the first time around, at mile 5, it had seemed like a mere slope. Now, at mile 18, I swear it was Everest-esque.) I managed to mumble something about how this was the longest I had ever run in my entire life(!). Two miles later, it was Trice’s longest run of her entire life! If we were truly excited about these achievements, we did not show it. By now, the exact nature of just what I had gotten myself into was beginning to set in. Everything hurt. Everything. Like my back and my butt and my hips and my feet. Especially my feet. At mile 21, I thought I was going to lose Trice; she was not looking too good. No longer optimistic, I tried to convince myself that five miles is really not that long. (As it turns out, it was the longest five miles of my entire life.)
Around mile 23 I became very angry with most everything in the entire world. Everything Trice said made me want to kill her. I wanted to kill myself. No joke, I literally wanted to die. My legs were having spasms. The pain was unbearable. I remember having a discussion with Trice about how if childbirth hurt more than this, I was never having children. Happy, young families riding bicycles passed us with smiles. I wanted to punch them in the face. How dare they smile. How dare they ride bikes. How dare they tell me good job when I was obviously was doing the exact opposite of a good job.
I thought I would be happy when we saw the mile 25 marker, but all I could think was that I could not possibly run for another 1.2 miles. The ten minutes this feat would surely take seemed like it would be impossible. This is when I started to literally choke up a little (I was too dehydrated for any actual tears to fall, but I was about as close to a mental-emotional breakdown as one can get). With every curve that did not open up to a visible finish line, I got more and more depressed.
Finally, FINALLY, the finish line came into view. It ended on the track with a big red balloon and total of about five people (including Mom) cheering for us. I managed to force out “don’t leave me” (in my state of delirium, I literally thought my best friend was going to leave me in the last 0.1 mile of our marathon. Spoiler alert: she didn’t). We crossed the finish line holding hands. They gave us plaques and medals and maybe(?) took our picture. I don’t remember, I was too dead at this point. Trice and I ate a bunch of cookies and granola bars and realized that once we sat down, it was literally impossible to get back up again.
I want everyone to know that I hated the last 7 miles of that marathon. It was literally the worst pain I have ever been in in my entire life. I swore that once I crossed the finish line that I would never ever consider doing another marathon ever again.
Five days later, I am already googling more races, the Marathon Maniacs, and the 50 States club. It’s crazy, kids; it does not make sense. I don’t know what is wrong with me. It is an addicting kind of pain. It’s the kind of accomplishment you just want again and again.
And, well, it’s just kind of a big metaphor for life, ya know. About how life is hard and difficult. It knocks you down, but you just keep chugging through, even when you have no idea why or how or for what purpose. It’s worth it… in the long run (get it… long run… I’m so punny… okay, I’ll stop now).
I’m a marathoner, y’all!
well maybe there’s a God above
but all I’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya…
so when you run make sure you run
to something and not away from,
cause lies don’t need an aero plane
to chase you anywhere