Calling—Running Races, Finding Meaning for Life

Running races
Like meeting most new people
A fleeting interchange
Through life’s sawing elbows
Pumping legs pounding pavement
Trying to get to
A distant horizon
As fast as possible
With as little pushing,
Jabbing and tripping
Along the way
As can be managed.

I want to feel found
On this journey,
Not lost
Drowning in a vast
Uncertain sea.

Among the hordes “breaking”
After the start gun fires,
I scan bodies in motion
To seek and find
One beautifully stacked man
Clocking a strong pace
That’s a little fast for me
But which can be
Realistically followed
With ideal physiology
Backed by weeks of training
And mental fortitude.

Long, lean greyhounds
Blazing asphalt streaking away
Ahead of me at a blinding pace
I could never match anyway,
Are free to go,
Unattended, unhindered by me.

Snails who decided to
Run the race two weeks ago
To mark the start of them
“Working on” a healthier lifestyle
Can also be left to their own devices
Behind me.

When I spot what looks like
A suitable “specimen”,
My hunt to keep this stranger
Within my radar begins.
I know I’ve got something special
And want to hold onto the good
As long as I can.

Running behind him,
I keep my eyes burning into
His quiet upper body and
Stay too close for him to
“Carry” me through
Minutes per mile.

When he makes the decision
To go wide on a turn
To avoid the masses
Hugging the corner,
I loop large too,
Whether that was
A good race decision, or not.
At one point,
I even trip on a curb
Because one of his choices
Led me astray,
But I don’t care.
I just need to continue
This tag-along.

When he gathers up energy
To weave himself through
A small gap created by
Natural spaces between people,
I draw from within me too
To speed up and pass
so I can keep him
Within a few arms lengths
In front of me.

The race course unfolds
With a long significant incline.
Huffing and puffing
Under higher altitude and
Gravity’s pull,
So many people falter
And slow down.

He doesn’t.

I watch with delight
As this magnificent male
Bends forward a bit
To tackle this hill
With robotic determination
To clock the same pace,
No matter what.
I’m in love with his performance.

Slightly breathless,
I inhale deeply to be able
To exert the increased muscle power
Needed to climb the hill
At the same pace too.
I keep moving.
The incline ends.
I’ve conquered this first feat
With masculine-esque pizzazz.
I’m thrilled.

This stalking chase
Motivates me
For the eye candy
This view affords,
And for the focus and
Race time this “pursuit”
Will surely give me.
I am uncertain of what
The pace per mile actually is,
But I know I like it.

And, though difficult,
I know I’ll be better for
Finding within me
The will to keep up
To separate myself from
The less prepared hordes
To find more room for expression,
To distinguish myself
From those that falter
By killing life’s hills.

We maintian this gorgeous tango,
Whether he realizes it or not,
For a good 4 miles.
Step by step,
Pass and turn by corner,
I grow hopeful
This silent inspiration
Will last the full 13.1 miles.
I plan to thank him
At the end.

At some point though
I see him glance back
Because he feels my presence
Lurking behind him.
He does this at least twice.

Somewhere and
Definitely somehow,
He does a kind of magic trick
To make himself go “poof”!
He shakes me off and
“Loses” me by making
What appears to be a
Concerted point of
Getting away from me by
Disappearing into thin air,
Never to be seen
Or heard from again.

His calling was only to
“Carry” himself
To the finish line, after all
Not me or anyone else.

I search among the crowd,
More dispersed now,
To find him again
But am unsuccessful.
The loss makes me feel sad.
Oddly, I miss this person.

How will I be able to find
My pace and path now?

Race, mid stride,
I know I have to proceed anyway
Without that masculine pull.
But how?

By reaching in to access
What I know I already have
Within me—to trust in my training
And own personal qualities
To breathe out tragedy and pain
When they befall me
To recognize and
Consume joy wherever I can
Behold and appreciate,
To wake up and
Get up
Over and over…



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