Today started in much the usual fashion. The first few blocks were rocky, but eventually, I established a pace. A mile in, I turned the corner, and I was on my beloved lakeside path. I could still feel the thumping on my chest. At first, I couldn’t help but smile. I was on the right path, the right journey. I passed fellow runners, and we shared a knowing glance. We were brothers and sisters, comrades in a common goal.
Suddenly, I tripped on the shoelaces as if they were still tied together, and collapsed onto the pavement. For a moment, a dagger lanced through my hands and wrists before abating. The blood now dripped from my extremities.
But I was miles from the beginning; I couldn’t just stop.
My pace home was slow and methodical. The miles clicked by as my head hung down, no longer entranced by the joy of the lakeside path. I hid my eyes from my fellow joggers as they whisked by. I was embarrassed by my all too visible scars. My all too apparent pain.
I returned to the entrance of my house haggard and beat down. I no longer remembered neither the joy nor the pain of the journey I had just taken. Instead, I was empty.
I climbed the steps and pushed the key into the lock. I sat on the bench in the mud room and took off the blood spattered shoes. For a moment, I went to tie the laces in a knot again and throw them around my neck.
Instead, I chucked the miserable pair unattached into the hallway closet.
Maybe it is time to stop running.