Gather the necessary items: socks, running shoes, shorts (if it’s nice outside, too cold and you’ll want pants), a shirt, a sports bra if you need it (I do), maybe a watch if you like to track mileage and time (again, I do) and your phone and earphones (optional of course), sunglasses and a visor if it’s sunny, a reflective vest if the darkness of morning still hangs in the air. Make sure you’re fully clothed or as clothed as you want to be and step outside. Lock the door behind you. Double-knot your shoes. While you wait for your watch to connect to the satellites – and seriously, I’m still amazed that something that resides on my wrist is talking to something in space, a hunk of metal racing around the Earth with nothing holding it in place other than gravity, something I know to be true but still find a little like science fiction. While your watch works its magic move a little, loosen hips and knees, make any adjustment needed. Once your watch pings, a gentle buzzing letting you know it’s connected to outer space, do a little hop-step and take off, hitting START on your watch, the distance and pace and time beginning to tick. And then…nothing – just keep putting one foot in front of the other till you’ve run a mile or three or ten. Till your body sings with adrenaline and sweat and exhaustion and delight. Till you’ve nearly forgotten that this is the only time you leave your house and that the world is falling apart around you, that you didn’t go to the store at 6am to try to find toilet paper and hand soap and eggs. Till you can believe, if only for those twenty or thirty or ninety minutes that this is a regular day, that this is a regular run, that this world just keeps moving forward and so do we.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: http://www.wordperv.com. Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.