It tears me down into tiny little pieces and lets me rebuild myself, bit by bit. It irons out the wrinkles in my brain. Running breaks me apart, all the positives and problems in my life and lets me keep the pieces that I need.
I got more out of these $20 running shoes than anyone has any right to. Taking them out for a run now is like taking an old dog for a walk; you remember the days when she used to pull on the leash and had you on guard, just in case she caught a squirrel or a cat out of the corner of her eye and would take off like a flash. Now you walk through the same old neighborhood remembering those times, slowing your own pace to keep time with her's, wondering how much longer she'll be around.
That's just about where I'm at with these running shoes. It's time to retire them after two years of service. In their honor, something I wrote about running a little while ago:
The secret to running in the rain
There's only one rule: you never stop moving.
The pace doesn't matter, only the distance you've gone,
and you must never forget that
the farthest point you reach is still only halfway.
Running is worship; it makes you a modern-day flagellant,
putting your self-destruction on public display
as an expression of faith and love, your commitment to being alive.
The only muscle you have to trust and listen to is your heart.
Your knees, ankles and feet wear down, your legs throb and swell
while tendons shear tiny pieces of bone from your body,
but your heart is what keeps you moving.
It embodies the one and only rule.
Your heart is your strongest muscle because it will be the last one to ever fail you.
~ George Mandis