I took a deep breath and quickened my pace, staring straight ahead at a small sliver of sunset, barely visible between a line of evergreen trees. I focused on that sky, on the purpley-pinks fading to navy, and regulated my breathing. In through my nose, deep, until it filled every empty space and capillary of my lungs. Then out slow through my mouth. And I started sprinting.
I could feel my legs, my arms, my chest expanding like a weightless balloon, but I stared straight ahead. I didn’t break focus. The outline of the trees stayed sharp; the pine needles let glimmers of evening light through, their thick bodies swaying ever so slightly in the breeze.
I took a deep breath and could feel the goosebumps wash over me. This was it—the moment all runners crave, better than any high—the adrenaline and euphoria that comes in a chill from your head all the way to your pounding feet. It washed over me suddenly, taking away any feeling of exhaustion or soreness or tightness.
I could only feel my breath filling my lungs and a fuzzy, lightness of my legs. I was weightless.
This is what I crave in every single run: the high. The moment my mind and my body drift outside themselves and connect in some far-off, euphoric runner’s wonderland. I lose all outside thought noise or music or pain and I just run. Repetition of legs and arms and feet and breath.
I lose myself in the sudden energy, strength, and grace I feel. Everything else is obsolete.
I want a love like this runner’s high.
I want a love that washes over me when I least expect it. A love that grabs hold of every part of me—my brain, my heart, my body—and makes me shiver. A love that demands my attention, yet leaves me in control. A love that’s euphoric, incredible, and breath-taking, yet steady. I am caught in the whirlwind, but safe, always able to take deep breaths.
I want a love that fills me from the inside out. That starts with a small moment of focus and expands outward, through pain and fear and outside worry. A love that zeroes in and washes away everything else, leaving me and that person and that moment. Bliss.
I want a love that challenges me, that pushes me. That takes me beyond the basic jog to a sprint. That’s going to make my body burn, but also blossom. That will make me determined and strong and faithful to that beautiful feeling. Keep coming back because I cannot live without that powerful, weightless feeling.
Running, loving—we’re all chasing some kind of high. But I want a love that gives me the same feelings a sprint does—terrifying and perfect.