And So She Ran

For whatever reason, on May 6th, 2018, at around 8pm, I felt compelled to exercise. Shocker, right?! So upon realizing that my phone (my sole source of music) was basically dead, I plugged it in and waited as it took years to reach a measly 40% charge. While waiting, I debated with myself mercilessly. Should I go to the gym or nah?

“You don’t really want to exercise,” I almost convinced myself.

“If you don’t go tonight, you never will.” This thought won and persuaded me into leaving my happy little apartment of leisure since I wasn’t about to wake up early and work out in the morning.  I shuffled into my car and drove to The Rec., which was closed. Bummer. [No seriously, I was ready to get ripped and by ripped, I mean achieving a non-sedentary lifestyle.]

Then, upon realizing that The Rec. wasn’t happening, I had an even crazier idea. I would run up and down McKinley, not giving a crap about what anyone thought (including myself). The sun had already set and campus felt dead, like I had some responsibility to liven it up. Aside from a few stray bikers and a university police car, it was just me and and the Hamilton soundtrack blaring through my headphones. [YAS queen YAS.]

I hadn’t ran down this street since my freshman year, when I was running with an elementary education student who I haven’t spoken to for awhile. Within me was this, “Oh my god why are you doing this to yourself?” feeling, but on the other hand there was this: “What do you even have to lose?” feeling. If I were physically able to run, why the heck not?

In that moment, I thought as loudly as I could: “Your best accomplishment isn’t that you finished, it’s that you had the courage to start,” and so I ran, hurdling myself through campus, slowing down to a walk when needed, but mostly sprinting forward. The wind ran beside me, as if it were cheering me on.

I traveled from the Robert Bell building to the Scramble light and back to my car and at some point, I just started screaming lyrics like a crazy person instead of focusing on gulping in all of the world’s oxygen. I wish I could say that I felt as free as a bird or something . . . I didn’t exactly, but I surprised myself by doing the thing in the first place; sometimes getting started is all you need to do.

Audrey Bowers