I’ve been writing to prompts and with agendas for so long now, I’d forgotten what it was like sit down and let my personal thoughts and observations dictate my fingers for a few minutes.
When I was in college, I took a basic intro to creative writing class. Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry was the uninspired but honest title in the course-book (Course selection back then was based on a paper catalogue and a room full of tables where you filed index cards according to your choices. Barbaric, I know.).
Our instructor had us free write for ten minutes every day, and once a week, she collected them and read them over. We weren’t graded, per se, but she made notes of ideas or structures of patterns which emerged and caught her interest. Those free-writing exercises unlocked ideas and images and stories which often became seeds from which I grew actual assignments for the course.
And don’t tell my screenwriting or playwrighting professors, but some of those free-writing pages came to life for their courses, too. So this morning, I gave myself ten minutes of not answering emails or hopping up to fetch and carry for my little boy, and I wrote. And it ended up being about running of all the things.
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I came awake to the rush and whine of the recycling truck picking up the 90 gallon container at the end of our driveway–that’s not strictly true, I woke to the rush and whine of the truck and impatient and moving honk! from a driver not willing to wait in traffic for the truck to finish its work.
And then the soreness in my hips and calves burned through. I decided to start a running program yesterday, didn’t I? After more than a year of dedication to sitting on my ass in front of the blogging world, via the screen on my Mac, I asked my body to move.
Stretching I examined a little tug in my back, between my left shoulder and my spine, and a tightness in my hamstrings. Must stretch better–more?–next time.
Apparently there’s going to be a next time. I’m mildly surprised. I’ve never liked running. I didn’t particularly like it yesterday. But these tugs, and this soreness feel good in a way. I’m not going to lie, even in my bed, which might be the most comfortable surface on earth, I am uncomfortable. The discomfort brings with it a measure of pride. You can’t tell to look at me, but I pushed myself yesterday.
A nineteen minute mile isn’t exactly impressive, but it’s less than a twenty minute mile, which is what they say you should be able to walk. So I went faster than a healthy walker.
“Maaaaaaaaaaa-maaaaaaaah!” and my son is impatient. No more wallowing in bed and self-analysis. The soreness will simply have to come with me downstairs, to see how it feels about being part of my family.
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Do you ever take ten minutes for yourself and really take note of what’s going on in your mind? in the world around you? Give it a try. You might be surprised what comes of it.