I didn’t really realize how deeply connected my running and my writing are until this year when I have not been able to run. One would think I would still be pouring my stories out while laid up, telling tales of the process of recovery, or of gaining a few pounds, or about the interminable stretches of time spent sitting, or even how I don’t have to wash my hair as much without all that bothersome sweating. So much time to write, one might think!
That one, whomever she is, is wrong.
I do not think of myself as inherently undisciplined, but I veer towards distractible and am prone to procrastination. Running, however hard it is to get me out the door, helps me focus. And goddamn it if I don’t like the way I feel when I am doing it. Even on a shitty run, it is one of the few times during my day that I am totally present in the activity at hand. Or foot. And that has been completely missing for me since April.
I know from experience that good writing (or good creativity or good cooking or good art or good fun) happens by DOING it, not by waiting around thinking about doing it. It’s one place where intention really does not count AT ALL. The running though, it has been the foundation to my writing process. Without it, I have really struggled to do the work. There is no lack of ideas, but they are cluttered and disorderly, banging around in my head at odd times, and oh so fickle. There will be a flash of certainty, and then, I fumble for the remote or my iPhone. When I run, I can hold on to those moments long enough to get the seed I need for the whole story to grow. (Even that last sentence, blech, it’s so f’ing forced and undone all at once, I can’t get my metaphor on, and so, I want to just go wash my face and go to bed because god knows I need my sleep.)
I can’t do that anymore.
I am going to have to suffer some shitty metaphors and face a lot more physical pain and frustration right as another year of my 40’s hits me on the ass and it’s going to take longer to be healed and running again, but I cannot wait to keep on writing again. Just like I am doing physical therapy to heal my body, I need to do word therapy to heal my writing brain. Or something.
(Because I’m metaphorically injured.)
(So your literal injury is the metaphor?)
(No, I don’t mean the knees I mean my actual metaphor-making skill is hurt.)
That made perfect sense to me.