A Letter to Running

Dear Running, 

Yesterday I remembered how much I love you. 
Yesterday I remembered how good I feel when we are together.
It was like flying.
My feet gliding in perfect pace over a long stretch of blacktop.
There is a smile on my face,
The air moves in and out of my lungs with little effort.
Miles 1, 2, 3, and 4.
My body is weightless and I am free.
I remember now.
And I didn’t even realize that I had lost you.
I thought I didn’t need you anymore.
I was wrong!
When I am with you, I can think.
You listen to my every thought.
You don’t judge me or argue with me
Or expect me to have it all figured out just yet.
Dear Running, when I am with you, I know that
I am a beautiful woman.
I am a strong woman.
I am a woman who hasn’t yet given up.
With you, I realize that, yes, I can do it.
Miles 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
When I want to quit and leave you far behind,
It is you that gives me the courage to push through.
I remember that for ever uphill climb
There is a downhill sprint on the other side
And I find that my body is still weightless,
And my mind is still free.
It isn’t always easy with you, Running.
Miles 10, 11, and 12.
Sometimes you hurt me more than I can accept.
You take my breath away
You push me to the limit, the point from which there is no return.
I know we cannot turn back now.
The pain comes as if you have somehow released a floodgate.
Every muscle in my body, every fiber of my being, burns with pain
You push me to keep climbing. 
To finish as a strong woman.
In spite of the hurt.
You remind me again of how happy I am
When we are together at mile 13
Weightless and free as we soar through the streets
We have reached our goal.  And finished once more
Mile 0.1 and we are in
But we have only seconds to celebrate,
Our time together is fleeting fast.
Again, you make me feel beautiful
And then you have gone.
The pain returns, but not as a flood this time,
As an avalanche.
My body is empty and I am defeated.
I do not know when you will return to me,
Dear Running
And I am no longer beautiful
I’m back to nothing,
Imprisoned without you.
I have lost the courage to fly.
I wait, Running, for you to return.
Beautiful, weightless, and free.
So that, again, I can remember
How much I love you.
So I wait.
Yours truly,

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