Today was a rest day. Like most rest days, I wanted to run but I didn’t because I know I need to rest, so I finished up an amazing book instead. Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember is about a writer who had a stroke at 33 because of a blood clot that traveled through a hole in her heart that she never knew she had. Powerfully written. Towards the end, she writes about how she had always been unable to exercise but thought it was because she wasn’t trying hard enough. Turns out, it was because she had a hole in her heart! After recovering from the stroke and then getting surgery to close up the hole, she is finally able to exercise. She starts running.
…running felt better than it had ever felt before. Every step was no longer a struggle. I understood how running felt like freedom. I was not gasping, I was taking deep and measured breaths. It was, I kid you not, as if with every breath I lifted my body off the treadmill. I no longer felt the immediate pain I’d always felt while exercising.
…I sat down on the floor to stretch, and instead of stretching, I took a breath, and when I exhaled, I exhaled sadness and disappointment and rage and my chubby childhood years and frustration, and I emptied myself until the voices in my head–a lifetime of voices that said I was not good enough that I was too fat that said I must starve that I was not good at sports that I would never be able to run or jump like anyone else for some unknown reason–went quiet (200).