It’s 5 o’clock in the morning, the alarm goes off and the room it pitch black. I can barely see the floor. I slowly slide from my bunk, trying to make as little noise as possible because I don’t want to wake up my roommates. I have laid out all my clothes in the front room. I’ve got everything I need. I put on my clothes, collect my hair in a ponytail then put on my shoes, tying my laces in a tight double knot so that they don’t come undone. I quickly go to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water, then head outside to meet up with my sisters in arms. We’re ready
We take the first lap and I’m starting to push myself already, even though it’s just the start. I don’t stop to take my breath. I already feel better, happy, free. We run and run. Nothing can stop us. I have found my rhythm, my breath rises and falls steadily, and I can feel a fire inside me and I start to vibrate. I feel like I’m escaping, that a dark cloud is chasing me. I don’t stop, I don’t slow down, I don’t lose pace. I’m headed towards paradise, and in some way I am.
I make it to the top of a long steep uphill stretch and I take in the most incredible view. There is a low hanging and majestic moon above San Marino. I take in the view. I do this every day, and every day it’s different, it’s a new set of feelings for me every time. Today I think of the seven years that have just passed me by. I’ve always loved running with my friends, going to all the different races, that burning desire to win, the tears when I lost, the laughter. It was all so simple and beautiful. I think of the passion I had and then I lost. Then I think about how I found it again and it makes me smile.