I am not a cute runner.
Before I go any further, I need to state that there cute runners. My cousin is one of them. All of her marathon pictures look like Nike ads. Her husband is the same way. After they sent me pictures of the Ironman they ran last September, I wanted to know if they had been retouched. They were too perfect.
I am not one of those runners. I'm pushing some extra weight. I don't have a beautiful stride, matching running clothes, or a bouncing ponytail. I'm usually moving pretty slowly. Watching me run is pretty ugly.
Despite all of this, I still run. I run because at the end of a long workout, I feel the way a Catholic is supposed to feel after they go to confession. Light. Refreshed. As if everything that's gone wrong in the past few days has been left behind me on the road.
I think, ultimately, that's worth a little ugliness.
How It Ends
She loved to cook and he to eat, so that's how it all began. She would cook. He would eat. They would talk about work or their spouses, perhaps drink some wine. Her recipes became more elaborate, his waistline, larger. They both made overtures at something else, but it never went anywhere because it couldn't go anywhere. He carried home leftovers from her meals; she took away his laughter at her jokes. One night, after years of food and wine, laughter and a little sadness, he wiped his lips and cleared his throat. "I'm leaving my wife," he said. "For who?" she asked. "Someone else." He replied. They were silent for awhile, until she met his eyes and said "I have an early meeting." He left and walked down the block, realizing halfway to his car that he had forgotten the leftovers she always prepared. He went back and rang the bell. She never answered.