Writing Prompt: She began to hit her stride as spring turned to summer.

Morning all. I started off relatively awake but apparently my computer had other ideas. It decided today was the perfect day to run super slow. Hopefully it is a temporary issue that is now resolved. But I did learn from earlier this year, bck everything up. I lost almost an entire manuscript this fall and am still trying to catch up from it. But that is another story. Right now, ti is time to dive into the morning writing prompt. Ready? Good. Then let’s go for fifteen minutes.

Well that was me floundering for a bit. I think there is a bit of an idea buried in there, but clearly not my best attempt. But while usable is always good, the point is to shift the brain and quite frankly now, I am ready to write. So the exercise did it’s job.

Monday, February 15th: She began to hit her stride as spring turned to summer.

She began to hit her stride as spring turned to summer.  No longer did her lungs feel like they were burning for the first half mile.  No longer did her legs feel like jelly.  The slow and steady progress of the winter and early spring paid off and now she felt able to run the full length of the trail without feeling as though her body was going to break apart. 

Each step was long and no longer felt jarring to her body.  She wasn’t certain how she looked to other people, but she felt strong and powerful with each stride. 

‘And there are no other people out here,’ she thought to herself as she ran.  The fact that she could now think while running was still a minor miracle to her.  Before there had only been a concentration on the physical.  Her mind refused to let her think of anything but survival as she ran, confident that the body was under attack.  As her body grew accustomed, she no longer had to focus on her breath and convince her mind that she wasn’t going to die.  She could think of something other than putting one foot in front of the other.

The thoughts that surfaced sometimes were… unexpected.

She was told that exercise like this was a good way to clear the mind.  It was why she took it up in the first place.  She needed a small stretch of time where her brain going let things go. She wanted a small space of quiet. At first she just assumed that the quiet came because her mind focused on the physical.  As strenuous as it was, it did provide her with some measure of peace.  Later she even relished the aches and pains, the muscle soreness and blisters as those too gave her something physical on which to focus her attention.  She needed to make certain a broken blister didn’t become infected.  She needed to work out the cramps in her legs.  The physical distractions kept her focused and out of her own mind. 

It was nice.

But her body slowly adjusted and her mind was released from constant supervision.  She expected a return of the thoughts from what came  before to resurface.  They didn’t. 

The night mares still remained, but now when she ran, her thoughts shifted randomly.  A flit of the undergrowth and a glimpse of what she was certain was a rabbit brought thoughts other rabbit her class kept as a classroom pet in grade school.  Something that hadn’t surfaced in her mind since leaving grade school.  A soaring bird in the sky brought memories of a collage friend, and ornithologist whose family raised falcons.  She joined him one weekend and had the strange sensation of flying one of the falcons. 

The thoughts that entered her mind weren’t ones that usually occupied her.  She wasn’t one to look into the past.  Usually the present took up her attention. Now, with the present too much to bear, old memories seemed to surface with regularity when she wasn’t focused on the immediate.  Some mornings, having woken from a series of nightmares, she started her run and thought that the memories might be her minds way of being nice to her.  Her past held darker memories, some even darker than the ones currently shattering her sleep.  None of those surfaced.  The memories shifted between good and neutral ones, avoiding the dark. Some mornings she thought that her mind was just clearing all of the older lighter memories out so that she could put them away and go through the darker ones with no interruptions. Despite the current calm, she wasn’t certain if this was what Dr. Franklin meant when he suggested running as a pastime.

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