Pounding the ground with my forefoot strike. Stride after stride, breathe after breathe – heart racing faster than it should be. The sun in setting in front of me, glistening off the beads of sweat raining off the peak of my cap every time my foot strikes. I approach the hill, the sign that i’m coming to the end of my run, the sign that i’m nearly home. I straighten my back, raise my head, lift my knees and start to push the pace. Agony from the very start of the incline, but that doesn’t stop me. I pick up the pace, picking up my ever fatiguing thighs. My hips start to drop, my form slackens, but I don’t slow. My arms pumping hard and fast, throwing my body closer and closer to the top of the hill.
Every step i feel weaker, yet every step makes me stronger. Every yard I take on the hill, I take the weight off my shoulders, the mess of my mind. The peace, the amnesia of the day behind, only brought around by pain itself. The top of the hill; one step, two step, i collapse to the ground. Exhausted, I turn my head to the sunset as it disappears on the horizon, blessing us with the night. This is when I am at my weakest. Anyone could come along and attack me at any moment and my body would not be able to respond – I am completely vulnerable. Yet at the same time, this is when I am at my happiest. I feel on top of the world, there’s no anxiety, just a sense of achievement. I have pushed my body to such an extent that it no longer functions, and when I get up and walk home, I can guarantee there will be no negative thoughts, just thoughts of tomorrows run and thoughts of my next race; picturing myself crossing the line ahead of my peers, knowing I pushed my body harder than they did on that day.
This is how I cope, this is how I forget. I don’t do it to get fit, fast or to please my coach. I do it for me, for those precious little moments where I don’t have to pretend to be someone else. I get my passion from propelling all my repressed emotions into every stride I take, It’s my drug, my antidepressant. Eight years later it is still my savior, my slice of paradise.
I wonder what you do to help you forget. Whatever makes you fucking happy, please, for your sake and the sake of the people who love you, pursue that passion until your blue in the face. If it can keep us off the pills, maybe we are evolving, maybe we are finding ways to take the vulnerability of our damaged minds and turn it into something beautiful – something that can make our world something special, where we have a sense of purpose. Run, walk, write, draw – It doesn’t matter what you do, just pour your heart into it, for the moments of bliss, for the moments of happiness. After all, don’t we all deserve to be happy? You may not feel like you can ever achieve happiness, but i’m here to tell you that you just need to look in the right place. Turn your passion into a cure.