Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Writer's High

My favorite 5K runner!

Though I love the idea of running, in actuality I hate it. The panting, the sweating, the aching legs: are we having fun yet? When I was in school, running (remember “jogging”?) was not yet a thing, so we rarely engaged in that form of exercise. But when we did! My gym teacher in 8th grade did not suffer non-athletes gladly, and I was a particular target of her exasperation. One day she decided the class was going to run a mile. Not only did I not finish, but I threw up at probably the half-mile mark. After that, running was associated in my mind with extreme nausea; even watching other people run made me sick to my stomach.

Then, about six years ago, I decided to get in shape and (of course) wanted to find the quickest possible exercise. Can’t get much faster than running, right? Over the course of a year or so, I worked up to running a mile and a half. There came one magical morning when I ran—and then kept running, two miles and beyond, without effort. I felt euphoric!! I had broken through to the adrenaline rush known as “runner’s high.” Now mind you, that never happened again, but I have never forgotten that amazing feeling. I understood at last why people love to run—and why they are able to run long distances.

On October 31st, I announced my crazy plan to write a blog post (a 500 word essay) every day in November. Once announced, I figured, I’d be too embarrassed to quit. And so, on November 1st, I wrote about my favorite coffee cup. Those first posts took quite a while to compose, and I didn’t hesitate to ask writer friends and family for subject ideas. Many of the ideas I thought of on my own seemed strangely familiar. A quick look back at my blogging history confirmed that I had, in fact, written about the same thing in May of 2012, for example. You may say, “Who cares? Who remembers?” But here’s the deal: I remember. I care. You runners wouldn’t say you had completed a marathon when in fact it was a 5K; honesty is my policy too!

And now, here we are, one post away from completing my blogging challenge. While I can’t say the writing month has flown, it hasn’t been bad. The essays have been written and published, and overall I’m pleased with them. I’ve proven to myself that I can write more, and more frequently, than I thought I could. And there have even been a few, magical moments when I got that adrenaline rush (my writer’s high) and felt I could keep writing forever. I know the memory of that feeling will sustain me on those “staring at the blank page” days to come.

The finish line is in sight. I invite you to stick with me one more day—and I thank you all so much for keeping me company this month.

Photo from my very first blog post (Nov. 28, 2011) 

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