Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Sort of Homecoming

I’m running a 5K this weekend. A 5K is not a big deal to me anymore. This will be my 5th if you count the 5K I had to run at the end of the triathlon. 5K’s are fast and a great way to work on speed. I’d like to run this one in under 30 minutes. That’s my goal. What makes this 5K different is that I’m running with my past. I’m running in Providence where I spent the better part of 10 years of my life – those formative 20’s. I worked there. I went to school there. I drank there. I saw many bands there. I made friends there. I fell in love there. I broke my heart there. I’m running on a team of people I have no seen since June 1989 – graduation day from high school. I’m running with a girl who introduced me to college radio when I shared my first show with her. If you ask any of these people from the past, they would not use the word ‘athletic’ or ‘jock’ to describe me. But I guess that’s what I am today.

So, I am running with past demons and labels of who I was 18-20 years ago. A dorky theatre kid who dressed in her grandfather’s clothes because she thought it was different and cool. A girl who got tattoos, dyed her hair every month and went to 3 shows a week because she thought it was cool. A girl who could barely climb a set of stairs and would never consider running 1K – forget 5. So, it will be weird to be pumping my arms and legs as I run past the parking lot I used to get drunk in. Or the places I’d park my car to go to work – or the restaurant I spent a New Year’s Eve with friends.

Sometimes, I have a hard time seeing myself as someone who is motivated by competition and goals. No one in those days would say I had a lot of ambition. I am sure that the only running I did in school was to get a class on time. I sometimes wonder what those in my past think when they see on Facebook that I completed a half marathon. Or do they even think about it all?

It's always hard to reconcile your past with your present. You look at old photos and laugh at your hair or clothes. You cringe at your weight or lament the lack of fine lines on your face. You think to who you were, and how you dealt with people and life on whole. I'd like to think I'm a kinder and better person whose still pretty funny and off beat. I'd like to think I'm a better version of that hip theater geek and wild radio chick. This run will help bring together the new and old Amy into one.

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