The note in my date book says “road warrior.” I have no idea why I put it there, though it must have meant something at the time. I think know this because I must have taken scissors to carefully cut around the words road and warrior. I must have pulled a stretch of cellophane tape to secure it to my date book. No must haves – I did do these things. I did these things that take time so I must have cared at the time. The words road and warrior don’t mean too much to me at the moment. Yes, I have been faithful to my run. Yes, I have put in the miles I promised – just not on the pavement. For the most part, my mileage has come from visits to the gerbil cage.
Last week, amid interviews and orientations I got in 14.61 miles. 40 minutes, 35 minutes, and 35 minutes. Not even two hours of my life. I can do better. I know I can. But, the good – no – great thing is I haven’t fallen down. Not once. Not even when mom tells me a friend of over 30 years has brain and lung cancer. Not even when grief for the ghost of my father haunts me. Not even when I looked in the mirror and can’t stand the reflection. Not even when my car is put out of commission by a very old woman. None of these things have broken me. I may have broken down because I can’t understand cancer. I may have broken down because I miss my father’s voice. I may have broken down because I am my own worst enemy. I may have broken down because I’m scared for that old woman who broadsided me. I have broken down numerous times, but I refuse to be broken.
The road simply does not call my name. The run rules regardless. What I mean is this: I keep running despite it all. Maybe that’s the true definition of a warrior, minus the road. Keep on keeping on.