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Running to, from, away.

(I know I promised to write about my thesis after someone asked it in my question box, but after this afternoon, this felt like it needed to be written first. It had to. I shall do a post about my thesis over the weekend.)


I ran four kilometers today after a year of not jogging at all, and after two years of not jogging at the Oval. Long story short, it has been (more than) a while, but I surprised myself with how well my body responded to all the pushing my mind did. It's always nice to know I can do things that are far beyond my own expectations, especially when it comes to this.

Running around today brought me back to where I was the first time I did it two years ago. I was still at that point where I felt like I had lost myself tremendously amidst the insecurities and fears that suddenly came my way that year. I was on the receiving end of a lot of bruises to my ego - not being fought for, not being chosen, not being good enough - little things, really, but they all piled up and made such a mess of me. Then the idea of jogging came up. I was in a horrible state emotionally and mentally that I just said to myself, Why the hell not? What further harm can tiring my body do anyway when so far all I've been feeling on the inside is exhaustion anyway?

But things happened and fell into place: people came into the picture and made things okay. Suddenly jogging became fun, it became something to look forward to. It was no longer about me comparing myself to someone else or proving someone wrong - it suddenly became an intimate affair with just myself. Sure, my body still ached every time I got home, but it stopped being a chore, and actually became something that allowed me to be other than what I really was at that time: a mess. Because jogging was so uncharacteristic of me, jogging made me feel like I wasn't Karla - I was just... a runner. Running. To someone, from it all, away - it didn't matter. I was moving.

The second semester of 2009 brought unexpected but welcome changes to my life. I can, of course, ascribe that mostly to one person, who started seeing me beyond the standards everyone (myself included) was so keen on putting on myself. But this person notwithstanding, looking back, things started to change only after I made the conscious decision to let the baggage go. It was stupid, all of it, all of them, I finally realized. The first move I did after that was the running. Saying yes to jogging suddenly meant saying yes to letting myself open up to possibilities.

It was cathartic, running again today after two years. So much has changed, from my pace to even my disposition. Yet it's comforting knowing that even after all this time, there are things that stay the same. Jogging still and will always remind me of that time I finally let go of all the resentment. Of being loved, of being appreciated, of being thought of as worth it - each step just reiterated these feelings all over again. To run under those same trees, being reminded that it didn't matter how quick, just how far, was liberating. I was running by myself, but it was during those moments that I felt most cherished; there was togetherness despite being alone. No one was beside me but it didn't feel lonely.

It still doesn't. And it was wonderful to feel that again, truly wonderful.