Today I'm sitting under the historic walnut trees in my backyard, feeling the Delta Breeze from San Francisco hit my face, while a naked toddler prances in his little pool beside me. That sounds like an opening to another reverie. I ran a tempo run today and averaged 9:50 mile pace, I'm pushing hard to run a 5k next Saturday, and keep focusing all summer on weight loss and pace improvement, not really long distance. My run today reminded me about how sometimes it is nice to run with someone for a couple miles but if they keep saying, "You can leave me behind," it is perfectly okay to do so.
Not sure what that says about life and relationships, but I do think it does say something. Especially when I see many women that I work with or that I teach arriving late to appointments or school or not remembering who they are and what they are capable of due to abusive or draining people in their lives. For example, one student of mine might be in a human trafficking relationship, where her family relies on her to cook, clean and care for them all, making her endlessly late to school. This week she showed up late and almost vomited in class due to exhaustion after getting in a traffic accident and not getting to the hospital the day before. She looked at me and said, “After class I have to help someone in my family move, I can’t go to the hospital.” I asked her, “Do you have car? Did you drive here?” She said, “Yes.” So why does someone with a car not just drive away from such abuse, such craziness, such slavery. You are a young girl with no children, you have a car, so flee your situation? I ask the same question when I get a text from dear friend unable to see her husband’s emotional abuse for what it is, questioning her own “sins as a wife” when time and time again he has failed to say sorry. I think of my student and then my friend as a run. Now my running partner is neither abuser to me nor in an abusive relationship, instead she is a gem of a chatter-box who helps the miles tick by and graciously shares her water and Sport Beans so I graciously slow down to run her pace. However, when she said again, "Don't let me slow you down," and we only had 1 mile left, I kicked up the pace, dropped her behind and suddenly felt free to run my own pace, and then and only then did I discover what I was really capable of - speed. Alone. And that was fine.