"Hard to beat an incredible machine,
made of blood and love and hope and lust and steam."
Today was my long jog day: thirteen laps around the track. I'm dismayed to find that though I've increased the distance of jog and decreased the distance of walk, my overall time increased! I have visions of being the last pirate to finish, with the volunteers picking up traffic cones behind me as I make my way toward the finish line. There's no shame in finishing last, but I'd really rather finish unobtrusively in the middle.
Several times during today's jog, I found myself close to tears. I remembered elementary school gym classes: running a mile with a cramp in my side after my classmates had already finished. I was moved by the lyrics in "Defying Gravity": "Everyone deserves a chance to fly!... to those who'd ground me, take a message back from me, Tell them how I am defying gravity, I'm flying high defying gravity." I thought about the fact that the only person in my life who would try to ground me is me: the pessimistic voice in my head. I've got support out the wazoo! That thought overwhelmed me.
"You may never know how far that you can go
till someone lifts your feet up off the ground."
Toward the end of my jog, I passed a man who'd just started walking the track. He asked how I was, and I panted "tired." He gave me two thumbs up and congratulated me for being there, and I jogged along and discovered the danger of simultaneously crying and jogging. My throat started closing up! Luckily I had water with me so I took a sip, practiced the breathing I use to stop cramps in my side, and soon was in control of myself again.
A profoundly deep jog. And yet as Shakespeare's Hamlet reminds me, none of this is to be taken too deep to heart:
"What a piece of work is a man,
how noble in reason,
how infinite in faculties,
in form and moving how express and admirable,
in action how like an angel,
in apprehension how like a god!
the beauty of the world,
the paragon of animals—
and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?"