Doctor’s Orders: Go for a Jog

Meghan - Dedham, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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Doctor’s Orders: Go For A Jog

I decided to run cross-country in the spur of the moment. At last, I had come to grips with the fact that the soccer field was not my true calling. Yet, why I chose to run instead still perplexes me. I knew it would get me into shape for the upcoming rowing season, but how, all of a sudden, did I have the motivation to pursue a sport that I had always perceived to be absolutely miserable? Whatever the reason, thank God for that split-second of madness. That afternoon, after emailing the coach about my intentions to join the team, I dusted off the old running sneakers and set out on what I was convinced to be my pathway to death. Although that single hour of jogging failed to persuade me that running was actually fun, I continued to lace up my neon green Asics for the remainder of that week, the month, and the summer.

The day before school began, I slipped into my now worn-out sneakers and embarked on a final summer jog. For hours I darted throughout the streets of Dedham, running through the campus of my school and into neighborhoods I didn’t know existed. I picked up my pace as I encountered people I felt uneasy about and dogs who weren’t quite sure about me. Making multiple loops around downtown, I provoked bewildered looks from people as I passed them four or five times. Accustomed to the outdoor light, not until I reached home did I notice the illuminated streetlights and the glow of the summer moon piercing the darkness of the warm September night that enveloped me.

I believe in the healing powers of running, despite the fact that I developed shin splints towards the end of the past cross-country season. Regardless of this irony, I am convinced that running is as powerful as any medicine out there. For me, it is the cure to any grief, stress, or anger polluting my mind and soul. Just yesterday, in the midst of an argument with my friend, I was in dire need of a way to escape the rage swelling up inside of me. So, I slid into my sneakers, threw on shorts and a t-shirt, and stepped onto my school’s indoor track. After sprinting the first loop, I continued to dash around the track for another 25 laps. With each step I took, I pounded all of my problems into the hard red surface of the track, leaving them trapped in the ground behind me. As I left the gym, my face was covered in beads of sweat, my hair was falling out of its ponytail, but my mind was cleansed of all impurities.

I believe that running is underrated. For me, it is the perfect solution when I have to clear my head or even just want to be alone for a while and escape the stress of everyday life. With every step, I leave my struggles and anxiety behind me and walk off the track feeling strong. I achieve a peace of mind and am able to confront any challenges facing me in a cool, calm, and collected manner. So, go, slip into a pair of sneakers, and prepare to pound any inner turmoil or discontent into the surface of the asphalt.