CW: mentions of self-harm
Sometimes I run because it’s when I feel strongest. I run because I love the feeling of my muscles working beneath my skin, my breath matched to my stride. Breathe in for three steps, breathe out for three steps. I love the sense of accomplishment, knowing that my body can carry me further than I think it can. Sometimes I run because it gives me joy. The simple pleasure of the wind in my hair and the sun on my face, moving with a body I’m thankful for. My body is a canvas for my mental state; when I’m well, I run for the joy of it. When I’m unwell, I run because it’s just another way to hurt myself. I run because at mile three I’m still thinking about cutting, but by mile five my brain is numb. Breathe in for three steps. Breathe out for three steps. I run because maybe if I can push my body to obey me, my brain might follow suit. I run because to be exhausted is to be empty, and where could my depression have gone except to have been left behind on the path? Expelled by my lungs, my racing heart, my wrung-out muscles. I run because it makes me feel good, and because sometimes, it makes me feel nothing at all.