A Much Needed Breath

The morning came and I ran. The streets of Grand Rapids were damp from an early morning rain, the river black, only because it was not yet past sunrise, and fluid because the rapids have slowly been let loose. 5:26am the Tuesday of a long week was ahead of me and I ran to clear my head. I’ve yet to run any miles consistently since my injury, I’ve yet to feel good since my injury, but the feeling of familiar streets under my feet was comforting. A bit of rain fell to cool me.

 I ran passed the park, passed my old gym, along the dumpy streets I used to call my own in G-Rap. On my way back I passed the 6th Street Bridge, a bridge designed for many modes of transportation: train tracks embedded, a road for cars, a smooth sidewalk for bikes, and the whole thing is boardwalk. Two by fours pieced together with nails for my pleasure. If you know me at all, and you know my running at all, you know that I love to run across boardwalks. I dream of designing a 5k race all on boardwalk so that other runners could maybe experience the feeling of raw, grainy wood underfoot and appreciate the hallow sound it makes are you step step step across. Swiftly, quickly, fluidly over the bridge to cross a river beneath is blissful. That Tuesday morning I ran across the bridge in the dark, unsatisfied I ran back across to return to Monroe Avenue, there and back gave me my fill of boardwalks for the early morning.

My run was interrupted by needing to walk, stretch and hope that my bones hold and remain strong without re-injuring. Frustrating, but it was good to be outside and moving. I made my way back to the hotel and was out of the shower before my roommate even woke. It was a good start to long week that was then clouded by copious amounts of information, schmoozing and boozing, dancing and working.

Throughout the week I made it back to the bridge multiple times. Walks with co workers while on breaks were the breaths of fresh air needed to clear my head and bring myself back to the ‘now’. The two by fours underfoot were a destination and a turnaround point, always pausing to look over the railing at the never still water of the Grand River. Always on the move. Always pushing forward to find what’s next.


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