Running for miles without music under the hot midday sun, I realized what I want to do with this strange year of my life. I want to use my body. I want to spend every last ounce of it. I want to ring out every last bit of strength that it has. I want to run until I can no longer breathe. I want to hike until my toes bleed. I want to bench press until my arms scream. I want to contort into magnificent shapes on the yoga mat until my muscles sing. I want to learn how to do things that scare me, like rock climb, like white water rafting, like cave diving. I want to swim in the salt of the ocean and bellow from the top of mountains into the echoing chasms beneath me. I want to feel pleasure, and I want to feel pain. I want my body to be used, completely. I want to die knowing that every last muscle and tendon and vein was utilized for good. That I made use of what was given to me in this world.
In 2014, my body utterly failed me. Quite literally, it fell to pieces, and everything I loved about my flesh and bones went to the wayside. I spent too much time under the knife as doctors scrambled to put me back together like a jigsaw puzzle. And I know it is ultimately all for naught. All bodies go out in their time, and perhaps mine sooner than others, but I’m not going to concern myself with that while I’m still here, running on this hot pavement under the midday sun. And that means I am going to be injured, and that means I am going to be sick, and that means I am going to collapse at the finish lines of my many races, and maybe even die at the end of one. But wouldn’t that be a good way to go? To die doing the one thing I did best in this world. The thing that made me as damned as I was blessed. To die, feeling everything.