Dowell Davis

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Run 

Ten years later and here I am...It was purely anger and frustration that drove me out of the house that night. It was supposed to be my senior year, but by all accounts, I stood no chance at graduating, the girl of my dreams was going away to a college in where may as well have been Mars, and in the simplest of terms my dad was what most teenaged boys would have described as a dick. 

I can't remember exactly what I was thinking in those immediate moments prior...I dressed methodically, not even sure that I was fully committed to the attempt I was about to make...I donned a pair of baggy wool sweat shorts, an oversized hoody and conveniently a pair of lightly cushioned new balances I'd won in a raffle from my job...Neglecting to stretch or hydrate, I shot out the door, practically soaring...Being 18 and relatively athletic, I felt buoyant and fast through the first three quarters of a mile...Suddenly it hit me...My entire body began to betray me, every appendage seized and locked, my heart and lungs all but absent and my stomach twisted inhumanly grotesque...As I approached a crosswalk, my running slowed to a jog, then a sloppy trot, then a brisk walk, and finally to a pathetic limp...

The cold night air scorched my esophagus and pounded at my eardrums...It had only been about 8 minutes from my front door even though it felt like ages, but I was determined not to return home defeated...There was a high school not far from my home (Not my High School) with an open track, as I entered the gates my ego had been equalized, I wanted to start again...This made sense, I walked out onto the soft surface of the track, took a deep breath and began to jog...The first lap around was sluggish with the amount of lactic acid built up in my legs and the lack of fluids in my body...The next was slightly easier...With the third, something happened, it was an indescribable feeling...I felt myself floating, my body was suddenly lighter, I couldn't seem to find a negative thought...

Three laps turned into six, six to eleven, somewhere around fifteen I forgot to count and just ran...The next day at school, I felt the most resounding sense of ability and calmness, my lower back ached terribly, but all I could think of was the next run...Where I would go, how far, how long...It's been ten years since that night, ten years, who knows how many miles and 2 kids later, and here I am...I have failed more times than I can remember, lost friends, missed opportunities, made grave mistakes, fallen in and out of love, but through it all, 'The Run' has always been present, no matter failure nor triumph 'The Run' has always gotten me through.

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