Well, there are plenty of reasons that I run. I run so that I can eat. I run because I can listen to music when I run, and I do love music. I run because I love talking with my best friend while we run.
Why did I start running? That’s a little different. I started running because I needed to feel my feet hit the pavement. Several years ago when my birth family told me to stay away, I felt . . . emotionally aborted. There was something really strange about being told by the two people (and my newly found siblings) who saw me come into the world to “stay away” that made me feel as if I didn’t exist–that I had no affect on people. Perhaps because I had put so much energy into finding them and friending them only to bounce off of a wall, I felt as if my life just bounced off of people. I began to wonder if I actually got through to anyone and made an impact, or if my efforts, my love, my care, my life just bounced.
Oh, it was a strange stretch. I just remember two times waking up in the morning and not being sure if I were really there. Since they were trying to blot me out of existence . . . maybe it was working? . . . I know I know. It doesn’t make any logical sense. But my posts typically aren’t logical.
My posts are my attempts to share my feelings. Feelings aren’t right or wrong, remember? They just are. It’s what you do with your feeling that could be right or wrong.
That’s kind of the “common rule” about feelings, isn’t it? I’m not sure yet if really applies to me, to adoptees who say what they feel. It’s an interesting phenomenon that if an adoptee expresses feelings that are seemingly negative, angry, sad, or anything that is short of being thankful and happy, people abandon the “common rule.” An adoptee, if he/she is not careful, could get labeled as a “good adoptee” or a “bad adoptee” based on what he/she shares. Side note . . . I digress.
As I was running, the right things started happening. I could feel my feet on the ground, and I knew I was not blotted out–but alive and physically well. Running increases serotonin which I was low on because of the depression I was experiencing. I took Naika running with me a few times because her brain is also low in serotonin levels. I figured she probably needed the “pounding it out” as much as me, if not more. And, I started to develop a vision for a goal.
If I couldn’t meet my birth mom, at least I could go to Philadelphia where she lives and run a 1/2 marathon there . . . for her, and for me. I set a goal, I learned how to train for a 1/2, and I started looking into travel plans.
I have yet to fully understand exactly why I was supposed to go, but I know that I was supposed to go. All of the details fell into place Divinely.
Thanks to Facebook, I was in contact with a high school friend who lives in a suburb of Philadelphia and is married to a lovely man who knows the streets of Philadelphia like the back of his hand. She offered her home, her upstairs office lined with books on all walls (as she is an English professor), picked me up from the airport with one of her adorable boys and her twin sister–who just happened to not be out of the country at the time like she usually is.
So–even before I ran, the connections of these two high school friends made my first-ever trip to Philadelphia so comforting because of the common connections we share of our home town, our high school, shared experiences growing up, etc. Wait! There’s more! They both run! AND, they are adopted! They both understand running and understand adoption “stuff” in their own evolving ways. They understood that I was not there to site see in Philly, but to run a 1/2 marathon (my first) in honor of my birthmom and in honor of my long journey of searching, finding, and encountering pain.
They were amazing. They both cared for me in ways that matched the personalities that I remembered from high school–a touch of familiarity for me in the city of brotherly love. Without them, I could have felt “out there” in my birth mom’s current place of living–could have felt kind of “raw” and “exposed.” Instead, I felt cared for–safe and loved by friends who knew me well. #Blessing
Since then, I have run in two more 1/2 marathons, and I have a few more places that matter to me where I shall run, God willing.
Apparently, the running is in my genetic make up somewhere. That’s nice to know.