Tonight, I started a small run at sunset that turned into something altogether inspiring. The temperatures in the town in Connecticut where my Grandparents live had been below freezing for days, like much of the Northeast. Over six inches of powdery snow had fallen overnight. It was so fluffy that Grandpa and I used push brooms to sweep it off the walkways. It tasted like Pop Rocks. Can you tell that I love snow?
So on this run I went, excited to be out and about in an Arctic wonderland. Down to the park trails around the lake, where the snow bit my bare ankles and my breath clouded my glasses. Up a new mountain trail I huffed. At the summit, I stopped to watch the thin strip of pumpkin orange glow at the horizon. For the first time in a while, I felt okay, relaxed, and calm. An episode of depression and a tumultuous breakup with someone I love had left me feeling anxious and hopeless for months. Now, I found some peace again, alone on a mountain trail. In the low light, I hopped up to streets I'd never been to before. Now this was an adventure, an exploration. Zig-zagging around residential streets, I soon grew much less certain of just where I was going. But wherever I was headed, I was running, and smiling. Now past dark, the car lights blinded me and the ice was hard to see. I had to admit it now: I was lost. I called my Grandpa, who offered to pick me up. Never! I shouted in my head, and answered, "It's okay. I'll see you soon." One hour later, I stopped at the steps of the house my Grandfather built, dizzy with sweet exhaustion. My face was aching from the cold, but I barely noticed. Whatever it was, endorphins, the thrill of danger, or a fresh accomplishment, I was inspired tonight. Inspired to run more, longer, and stronger. Inspired to set goals again, like I used to. I'd like to run a 24 hour race in the Dominican Republic, where I'll be training in Peace Corps. I'd like to regain my Spanish before I leave in March. I have goals and dreams again, and Joy in my heart, and as my friend advised me to say, "Nobody's gonna' stop me!"