I will own the world today.

That was my morning runner’s mantra.  Maybe because when my body learned to run the distance, my feet responded back by showing me what a bigger world I could conquer.  By no means was I a competitive runner who took stock of stats, gear and conditions.  I just wanted to run and explore new places, meet interesting people, secure a license to load on carbs and earn a stronger body along the way.  Best of all, it made me happy and well.  As mundane as it may sound, it was true.  I ran for whatever reason there was — happy, sad, alone time, time with friends, sunny, rainy, dawn, mid-afty, evening, flu, colds.

I will own my body today.

That was my woman’s mantra.  I loved the change in my body.  It was both familiar, yet strangely new.  Not in the visually physical sense, but in its ability to endure and move forward.  Even the mind became a powerful thing.  In spite of the eventual physical pain that comes with training, the mind conveniently deletes that information in anticipation of the happy flush of good energy.  I wanted to keep running, to keep feeling that wonderful fountain of happiness wash over me.  I wanted to stay connected to my thoughts, my body, to the very ground that moved with me, and allowed a communion with the inner self in the silence that comes with running steadily for 4 hours.  I love the “quiet time”, though it really never is completely quiet.  In the first hour, a stream of consciousness strings together disjointed ideas.  By the second hour, it shifts between the stream and physical consciousness as the heat and the pounding begin to hammer the body.  By the third hour, the stream turns into persuasion of the body to keep moving as though a prayer in itself.  Running became my body’s communion and prayer.

I stopped running.

Slowly, insidiously.  I woke up today, and realized that I had lost the world, and I no longer owned my body.  And sadly, it was supposedly for the pursuit of some greater elusive thing called self-actualization.  In losing the communion and prayer of running, I lost the ability to listen to my body.

Slowly, insidiously.  I began to wake up with a heavy heart.  What was there to conquer today other than the drudgery of work, the endless scheming, and the disappointing realization that all I owned today was a cause no less than my pay check.

Slowly, insidiously.  I realized that I was losing myself.  Bit by bit the moral standard of the majority was threatening to marginalize my values.  When I opened my eyes today, it was to the cold truth that very soon the majority would persuade me to the other side.

Slowly, insidiously.  It did chew off bits at a time … nothing too large to make it too obvious, but certainly small and frequent enough for it to happen slyly.  I began to believe I had no right to conquer the world, nor any right to embrace my self.

I became unhappy.

So, I ran again today.  Not because I want to own the world, but because I want to regain myself.  Because whatever the reason, we just simply have to pick ourselves up, dust off and run.  Along the way, I know, slowly and insidiously, I am going to find the runner who wants to own the world, and the woman who wants to own her body.

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~ by explorertrails on February 12, 2010.

10 Responses to “I will own the world today.”

  1. Running, like an old friend, never fails to strip you down to your rawest, barest, most honest core. That’s why whenever we feel like we’ve lost ourselves, we run to remember. And to regain. – M

  2. Run away from the unnecessary expenses, Ms. R! 😀 I’m pretty sure, you will be able to save up for a Birkin when you run away from the unnecessary expenses (read: Starbucks coffee/tea EVERYDAY) ;p

  3. you should try be be like Forrest Gump and run across the country…

  4. Well written. Shiningly powerful, written ON valentine’s day at that. I think you just may be BACK on track 😉
    Proud to be on the bleachers cheering you on.

  5. I am a person who for 38 years has been used to multi-task (yes I can read a Time news article, watch a sitcom, chat with a friend, answer a sudoko puzzle all the same time). But at the end of the day, I feel almost empty and spaced-out due to information overload. I learn so much from the outside but it lessened my ability to dig deeper into the closest thing to me, which is myself. Your article has made me realize that I should engage in an activity that will be my own version of running, if only just to help me come back to my inner self and explore the power of self discovery. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. It only took me 5 minutes to finish the blog, but it was definitely a good read.

  6. Good read! I love the prose. But coming from you I never expected less. Hope you can get back to running soon and eventually conquer the world that you ought to.

  7. good one! glad you began your blog 🙂 i’ve always told you how well you write, and you’ve always known that anyway, so this was such an obvious next step 🙂 continue to share your thoughts to the wurld! 🙂

    running-wise, i’ve also stopped joining the road races. my last one was the eco-dash in sept. 2009. after 33 of them, i just got sawa. i still miss it, so who knows? i may get back to it and see you on the road soon! :))

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