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Friday, June 24, 2016

Scaling Back.

Dear Josie,

I figured out why I hate love running.  It's the only thing on this Earth that comes close to what this life without you feels like.

It's hard.  Like really hard, every time and I always want to stop.  In the beginning I could make it around our block once and then twice and then a mile and then two, and then three.  There was a lot of labored breathing at first, then gradually longer intervals of respite.  Finding my rhythm is a task that's become easier and familiar on the pavement.  There have been bouts of physical anguish where I didn't want to continue. People stare and sometimes honk, (Seriously?  How is near death attractive?) and when I make it home I always feel accomplished.  Like I could have stopped but didn't.  Like it could have killed me but it hasn't. Yet.

Apparently this is no new revelation.  This is why most runners like to run, actually.  The sense of accomplishment, the mental perseverance.  I was talking with a longtime runner friend recently about my new hobby and she was like, "Um, yeah that's why everyone runs."

The weight loss is an added bonus.  The other day I went to Target to buy a scale.  I'd noticed my clothes fitting a tad looser but I wanted to see just how much I'd lost since March.  When I got home the scale didn't work, so after trying several brands of AAA batteries I went back for an exchange. In my rush to make it home before dinner, I must have foregone my normal Target detour  because I quickly found myself walking aimlessly through the little girls' clothing section, a land that I typically bypass at all costs.   I became aware as I passed a particularly adorable denim romper, but it was too late.  The anger inside me of was already growing, but it wasn't about the scale, as my mental conversation took flight...

"Pink is dumb.  Splatter paint leggings are dumb.  Why didn't this fucking scale work?  I miss you I miss you I miss you."

By the time I'd  reached my desired location the tears had pooled in my eyes like welcomed relatives on the porch, long overdue for a visit.  I tried to politely wipe them away but there were too many, so I kind of just knelt there for a minute and cried.  I'm sure it looked like I was crying about some failed weight loss plan, next to the scales on the wall there but of course I wasn't.  I was crying because my daughter died two years ago and because there is no parting of the seas for my kind.  Pink will always be a color.  Father/daughter dances will always happen, and there will always be adorable polka dotted swimsuits with pink and navy strings, potentially on the way to the bathroom appliance section. 

Eventually the tears subsided, and so I grabbed the twenty dollar scale and I headed back to the front of the store, through the little girls' section on purpose because I wanted to.  Because there were cute splatter paint leggings that my goddaughter might like, and because it felt like running.

Love,
Mom


 
 




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