Dare to be YOU!
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Run, Run, Run

Merle Brill,


B
reaking away from the everyday to escape your head.

I am running, and running, and running. It is called the Los Angeles

Marathon. It is my first one. As I run amongst the many of thousands of others I

don't feel like them. Like a runner, or a normal person. My mothers last words to

me before I left weren't the most encouraging."You don't have runners legs" I

run and cry. I cry not because the pain has yet to set into my legs but for the

sadness of life and the secrets that we must keep.


As I stand at the starting line I cry for the masses here as we are all

about to begin our journey, and that I am even standing amongst them. The odd

girl who failed gym class, the "dyke" that never quit fit in. The energy is

amazing. My mother and lover are here, that too is amazing. And probably a good

start for the second chapter.

I am terrified. My training did not go well, I did too much too fast, as I

have done most things in my life. I am running on a fractured foot that needs

another week to heal, but this was my goal, and I have to try. Right now I can't really feel my foot I have so much coaches tape on it.

Living in Los Angeles was a childhood dream. I had not lived the most

virtuous life and feel that this might make me feel the redemption I so crave.

Does the woman next to me feel this? Is that why she too is here?

I have no more time to think about it, at least not for the next mile. I

love LA starts to play and like horses out of the gate we are off. It is very

slow and stop and go, but we all pass the official start line electronic devices

attached to our sneakers beeping as we pass. They will record our journey, our

triumphs and failures. There's that word again FAILURE.

The first mile I think of nothing. I can't take everything in fast enough.

The energy, the diversity. Now I cry just feeling what a positive moment, a

happy moment is like. And I continue to cry fearing that this might be the last

time I feel anything like this. It's just been too long.

I am starting to realize that I am deeply deeply depressed and terrified

to ask for the help needed. It will be at least another 10 years before I even

remotely start to face it. One of the other reason I run is for it not to be

just a metaphor of how I have lived my life to this point, running away, whether

it be in my own mind or from life.

On this beautiful sunny, perfect L.A. Day I have no thoughts of "Him", or

the guilt or the secret. I am too busy right now trying to keep up and checking

in with the pain in my foot, which is already starting. We are about to our

second mile and I see the Elvis, well actually 5 they are pushing a baby

carriage and drinking beer and hamming it up for the crowd. I want to get in the

baby carriage and have them push me the rest of the way. I have no idea how hard

this will get, but I signed up and I will finish, please wherever, whoever you

are let me finish.

The next several miles pass pretty much like that, until we get to what's

known in Los Angeles as the Creenshaw district. It is an African American

Community, I detest political correctness. Before us awaits a freeway overpass

it might as well be Mt. Everest it looks like it will go on forever. We all

attack it adjusting our pace and stride, since we have 16 more miles to go. I

hear angelic gospel music as a finish my ascent. The sweet voices and energy

carry me the next two miles as if I am running on a cloud. Could this be runners

high.




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