I sit on the bed and pull on my compression socks. The socks are a recent addition to my running routine as six pregnancies have caused the veins in my legs to forget how to clot. The socks are uncomfortable and difficult to put on, but I do it anyway because dealing with the puffy, purple ankles is worse.
I search the bed for my phone, grab my ear buds and walk to the machine. Taking a few deep breaths, I spend a moment in motivational self-talk before I hop on the treadmill, adjust the settings, and start to move.
The first mile is the worst. I think only evil thoughts: how my calves ache from the socks, how I would rather be devouring a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, how the music pumping through my ear phones is doing nothing to mentally motivate me to continue with this ridiculous task.
But I press on. I try not to notice the trickles of sweat or the heaviness of my breath.
After awhile, the first mile is complete and I realize I haven’t died. This no death from running is a victory because I was sure a few minutes ago someone would find my mangled body at the foot of the machine. And while I don’t want to romanticize this whole physical exercise business, I also can’t ignore the fact that not only has the running not killed me, I also have found something while my feet pound in rhythmic motion, something that feels like grace.