by Brian D. Meeks
Chapter 38 Day 38
Steve spent the day taking stock. This is what he wrote:
I have led a incredibly blessed life. It has taken me most of my life to realize it. Born May 7 1966, that was my first break. I was born with a birth defect that found all the bones surrounding my brain already fused. Had I been born just a few years earlier my brain would not have been allowed to grow. At 7 weeks, the surgery was performed and thanks to a surgeon I will never know, My brain was going to be able to mature as normal
I don’t have many memories of my childhood. One of the most vivid is a running memory. I went to the 6th grade in Burlington Iowa at Apollo middle school. The school was a couple miles from my home and most days I walked home after school.
One day, for no particular reason that I can remember, I decided to run. I was an awkward lanky kid in blue jeans and a pair of tennis shoes.
There was a good sized hill to climb and then a mile or so to home. I don’t remember the start of that run, but to this day I remember the run starting to become easy..my breathing started to change. I started to tune into my breath. It was not difficult or strained. There was a rythym to it. I became the breathing. It lasted less than a mile.
I have never forgot that. 17 years later I ran my first 5k. 33 minutes. So hard..No rythym..no ease.
Today..somewhere along a road I will never run on again, after a long rest, I set out to take another chunk out of the run.
I walked at first, maybe for a mile or so. Then I began to jog, barely faster than the walk. Random thoughts blasted across my brain. This was not new territory. I began to observe my thoughts with no judgement at all. When I do this the thoughts start to slow. As they do, I try to then observe and hopefully become my breathing.
Marshall Ulrich talks about running sometimes hours without a thought..compressing time..out of body. Running OUT of your mind. Literally.
It had been 35 years or so since that 6th grade kid stumbled upon this sensation, but I had found it again.
I existed only in my breathing. There was no body, no mind. My legs, my arms, my mind did not exist. On some level, ‘I’ did not exist.
I was everything and nothing all at once. I thought of that young kid, so clueless, stumbling onto the joy of running, so many years ago. I hope it’s not 35 more years until I find it again. Day 36 is done. Love you all!! For survivors everywhere. Livestrong
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