She liked her morning run around the bay. No phone, no annoying emails, no texts. Just the beat of the dance music coming from her iPod that made her want to push herself even more to keep in time and the clean air that cleared every nagging thought left over from her restless sleep the night before. This was her own private tranquility before the challenges of the day started and didn’t stop until late into the evening.
It was a deliciously brisk fall morning, the perfect weather for a run and she was feeling really good. Her stride felt right, she felt her pace increase and although she had no idea what it felt like when true runners say “the endorphins kicked in,” she thought that this was as close as it could get, which filled her with joy.
A couple running towards her caught her smile and returned it with a nod. She noticed how in harmony their strides were with each other and how they talked and stole glances while running. She felt a little of the nagging from the night before return.
Keeping her stride and pace she continued her run as another couple was slowly running towards her. This time she watched him keep a slower pace so that his partner could keep up. There was no judgment in being held back, he wanted to be right there. The nagging turned into a dull ache.
She turned the corner around a small part of the bay, which housed a little hut and benches that looked out towards the small islands in the distance. An old couple sat in silence drinking steaming coffee and holding hands while looking out into the quiet distance. The dull ache became a sharp pain.
She stopped to address the pain, perhaps a runner’s stitch? For some reason a senseless quote from a movie she had watched recently called The Wedding Date ran through her head… “every woman has the exact love life she wants.” Why was she thinking about this? Then another thought hit hard… “I am 45 years old and single with no children. Did I choose this lack of love life or did it choose me?” Was this thought causing the pain? Surely she didn’t really want to be alone?
She had been single most of her life with some long and short term relationships in between. She wanted a future with each and every one of them that brought happiness and possibly children. The post mortem of each one told her the ending of the relationship was the right answer as painful as it often was.
As she squeezed her side to make the pain go away she realized that there is one thing she does know. This is not the exact love life she wants. She wants to enjoy the harmony in a stride, someone who will take a step back so they can both move forward together and someone who can enjoy the blissful quiet together with a closeness that speaks volumes. There is also something else she absolutely knew for sure… there is love in her life.
The pain dissipated and her stride returned with vigor.