People often ask me why I write about running.
Why not yoga? Or mediation? Or something else entirely?
Having worked at a newspaper since the age of 18, I am comfortable around words. I can control words. I understand them. I know the rules of grammar, syntax, and can control the pace of a piece easily based on a few simple choices.
Words, in all their beautiful, messy, complexity, make sense to me. I know how to wield them. If I stumble while writing a piece, I know what to do to fix it the next time around.
For me, writing is like putting on my favorite old sweatshirt: It may look ragged and rough on the outside, but on the inside it is perfectly worn in and soft, familiar.
I always know where I'll end up when I write. I always have a vague idea of what the journey to get there will feel like, too.
Writing feels like home.
Running feels like work.
It takes every ounce of strength I have mentally and physically to control my pace while running. Every step is raw, unfamiliar, and decidedly not predictable. When I set out to run, I have no idea if I will make it to whatever I determine to be the end that day.
I'm not graceful.
Sometimes my strides have the same feel to them as my fingers banging away at my keyboard: Steady, rapid, and fluid. That's when I'm the most comfortable running. Other times, my steps are wild. Unsure. As if I'm running to catch up with something.
There's a tension I feel before a run that the sheer act of running helps to unravel. That's where writing and running intersect: It seems to be a space where my mind can ruminate.
There's a rhythm to writing. A rhythm to running. Where one beat drops off, another takes it's place -- one word for another, one foot then the other. And eventually, with both writing and running, there's a finish line. And quiet.
I can't wait until running feels like writing does. I'm still working on that.