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Four thousand miles from here.

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This morning I wrestled myself out of the chokehold of a strange dream and flopped over to check the time. 9:15 AM. It’s late, and I’m groggy, foggy, sloggy as the weather and about to get my emo on.

I drag my feet out the door and prepare for a yuck run. The type where the sky is gray and clouded over and I am gray and clouded over to match.

I turn onto a long dirt road and resign myself to the chore. Today it is not a joy or an escape; it is an invented obligation, a purposeless compulsion.

I decide to punctuate the groggy, foggy, sloggy monotony with pickups, and the 90 minute effort morphs into a 4/1-minute fartlek workout. It starts to rain and my shoes have become soggy.

I can’t point to an exact moment where they went from dry to wet, I only know that they must have gradually accumulated moisture and now they’ve gone from the snappy bounce crunch to the squish crunch squish crunch and I don’t suppose I mind very much.

I can’t point to an exact moment where my general manner went from gray and clouded over to alert and invested, but the chore has somehow become satisfying; no longer a tedious obligation but a blissful diversion. Four minutes to steady my legs and one minute to fly.

Last night I got another AmeriCorps offer, and finally, here on a dirt road in the woods where things like the state of my shoes and state of my mind keep changing without me realizing, I appreciate that I can point to an exact moment that a measurable change occurred.

Before the phone call, I was blundering along through the summer, laughing at myself and wondering if I would ever secure gainful employment. After, I was sitting on my bed staring out the window wondering how much a flight to Alaska will cost, wondering if I can survive a winter generous with the rain and stingy with the daylight, wondering if I can afford the cost of living, wondering if it’s normal to be this terrified, wondering, trivially, about the rates of bear and mountain lion attacks on runners, and wondering, even more trivially, when the Juneau Marathon is.

I have a few days to make a decision. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of being out at a restaurant with me knows that I can hardly pick something off of the menu without suffering a pros versus cons-induced paralysis of emergency-like proportions, so this one outta be good.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/24/2010 16:47

    i totally forgot that you’re doing americorps too! i start in august and i’m really excited. good luck with the decision 🙂

  2. 06/25/2010 22:14

    thanks for the recent comment and blog-roll add! i am now following you also – look forward to reading more.

    americorps — sounds cool! i had a friend who did that a few years ago – tanzania, i think.

  3. erin permalink
    07/01/2010 21:29

    hey cathleen! let me know if you come to alaska…i live there! in fairbanks! I didn’t get to see you in GA, but that would be pretty crazy if I see you up here! and yes, you will see bears/moose if you’re trail running! 🙂

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