running

by mandaceehb

I don’t particularly love running, but it’s something that happens to me from time to time. And I find myself wondering that if everything in this world can be considered some form of art, then maybe running is a form of art as well.

The art of distraction:

catching glimpses of the sky from disappearing puddles, shoes scattering gauzy blue and white; focusing on the way shiny droplets cling onto deep purple grasses, gently hunched over from their height. People zoom past on bikes, children play with scooters, a woman walks a fox-like dog which is graying around the muzzle in the same way that humans do. I watch the way different people run: legs turned slightly outward resembling a happy skip, springs embedded in their calves in a liberating jog. I realise how some people have such a distinctive way of running. Quite a distance ahead of me my dad is running at a steady pace, greenery stretching out all around him. The day is darkened after the rain and from the onset of night, and everything inherits a soft, muted tone. The life of nature, the trees and grasses, the waters, almost look like a faraway painting.

The art of tolerance:

my heavy breaths fall into different rhythms between stretches; my ears try to attune themselves to the changing melodies. Sometimes when people run by me there is this brief and occasionally awkward period of panting in tandem, before one of us pulls ahead or falls behind. All of us in motion are somehow sharing the same moments, and even though our bursting hearts seem intolerable and demand us to stop we continue running all the same. My over-imaginative mind conjures up scenes of heart attacks and I create a communication device that would allow me to press a button and inform my dad that I was too tired to run or had fainted or something of the sort. My sweat-slicked earphones keep slipping and I forcefully shove them back into my ears. Everyone I see is moving and it has the effect of keeping me in a jog. Lying to myself works sometimes, in the attempt of extending the exercise just a little further. But when I finally stop my calves feel like bent plastic rulers, unable to stop springing forward from the momentum even though I just want to take it slow now.

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