Nostalgia is a funny thing. I usually try and shy away from it as it tends to make me sad. I sugar coat the past at times, putting the shiny crystal sheen on things making me think I had it better when, in actuality, I probably didn’t. Charleston, kid free times, college – all things I think back on fondly, wishing I was still there in those moments, never really remembering the times that weren’t so good.
Today, though, was different.
I’ve been contemplating the idea of accepting my guaranteed entry to the NYC marathon since I dropped out last year. I told myself that maybe this was the year I would *actually* do it if I could just take the first step and get out the door to exercise. Today made three days in a row and I’m pretty damn proud of myself for that.
Today is cold. And snowy. But I managed to get the workout clothes on and out the front door to run/walk/jog/slide for 30 minutes.
As I began navigating the neighbor streets where I now live, the neighborhood streets where I lived years ago when I first began running, the nostalgia was overpowering. This is where it all began…my love for running. The shiny beacon in an otherwise tumultuous time in my life where I could barely stay afloat. And then out of the blue “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey came on and my heart stopped.
This could be the fall of 2013 when I first started running. That song took me right back to those moments so many years ago. The early mornings and sore legs. The darkness of running pre-dawn. The excitement I felt when I ran down certain streets and crested certain hills and the annoyance I felt with others.
Not only did I fall in love with running on these streets and sidewalks, for the first time I actually fell in love with myself.
And this one.
The girl who completed her first Runner’s World Run Streak.
And her first half marathon.
The girl who was happiest and had the biggest smile when completely covered in sweat.
This wasn’t the same kind of nostalgia that I was used to. It wasn’t so much remembering what I had as discovering what I can absolutely have again.
With this short 30 minutes this morning I began to realize that maybe I never lost my love of running or even myself. Maybe it’s always been here. In this neighborhood. On these streets, waiting for me to return. Because this is where I belong.