When I run, I gently nudge my consciousness into my legs. I push it away from my face and my neck, where the pain creeps up and is usually worse in the mornings and evenings. As someone who has trigeminal neuralgia, I know how horrific pain can be; I’ve teetered on the edge, between wanting to live and wanting to die, and it’s a scary thing.
But nothing will stop me from running. I will run until it hurts too much to do so.
In the place I live now, a quaint little town, I run along streets and up hills, then look back and see the mountains all around me. I call it the Graveyard Run. I run from one graveyard to the next—there are two that I know of—and I run through them and sometimes I stop and sit on the gravestones.
First I ask, of course.
“Excuse me, would you mind . . .?”
I take the whisper of the wind as a muddled yes.
I think about these people, and I know they all ran at one time or another. Maybe just as children. Maybe as soldiers in wars. Maybe they only ran in their minds, maybe they ran from their troubles.
But all of them ran at some point.
I have pain in my face, and my neck, but it doesn’t stop me. And as I sit on that gravestone, talking to people who’ve long since died, I think of how lucky I am. I have the chance to try to run—to try to do anything—and even if I fail, at least I know I gave it a shot.
Don’t let the pain win. Overcome it, even if it means slipping out of your mind for a little while. Life is too short to let agony preside over you. So I nudge my consciousness into my legs, away from my face, away from my neck, and I keep going.
I run. And it feels good.