The urge to run lives in my earliest memories.
When I was about 10, my mom pulled out in front of a car within blocks of our house. Everyone was fine but shaken. Unsure of how to deal with the aftermath, I took off running for home.
Frankly, it’s one of the only times in my childhood that I remember running. Pure adrenaline carried a chubby, knock-kneed girl all the way home. Until then, I avoided physical exertion like it was a vegetable.
Around that same time, my toddler brother had a bout with car sickness all over me.
Gross. I know.
I was holding him. We were miles from home. And I was covered in vomit. I remember wanting to walk home just to escape the feeling and smell. I pleaded with my dad to let me out and “I’ll walk home”. He ignored my threats, drove faster, and later hosed me off in the front yard.
Nearly a decade later, I dropped out of college and ran off to New York. A brazen, spur-of-the-moment decision that literally changed the course of my life. This time it was metaphorical vomit I was covered in. Failing grades, relationships, and professional prospects drove me right out of town.
Armed with ambition and eagerness, I quickly worked my way up through the first organization that gave me a chance…Until things got complicated. Soon, my peers were my direct reports. The new responsibility and power offered more challenges than my limited experience could solve. Rather than stick it out, I jumped ship.
Age offers the gift of many experiences to reflect upon. Each day life introduces us to more knowledge, teachers, and practice than we had yesterday. And often behavioral patterns are more glaring, and sometimes haunting, in the rearview mirror.
It’s still there sometimes, that instinct to run. Although I recognize it now and understand I am more equipped to handle the problems that my legs once tried to flee.
So last Wednesday when my husband forwarded a link on how to apply for Canadian citizenship, I was tempted. But ultimately knew our country, this moment needs my experience, resolve, and talents more than ever.
No flight. I choose to stay, train and fight.
Besides Ontario is an awfully long run for an out-of-shape woman with knock knees.