As the sun struggles through the grey, I take to the street, headphones already pulsing. I’m not sure how far, how long or how quickly it’ll be over, but I know it has to be done. I prepare to enjoy it, to revel in my new found routine.
It’s early and eerily quiet as I veer away from the main roads, sticking to the business park for the first two sides of the square, the outward leg. The first seconds pass into minutes, and I feel good. Music pounding in my head, driving me on. I take in the view, the flat land before me, the sky arcing upwards as planes drone away into the clouds.
It must have rained last night, remants of puddles bring the occasional welcomed splash. Each one evoking childhood memories of red wellies, Paddington Bear, duffle coats and sandals. The memories twist into different forms, car journeys at night, chips on the seafront, a panting dog in the back. I run on, unaware of my movement, lost in thought, concentrating on nothing. My mind gleefully pulls at the threads of my memory, enjoying the departure back to times forgotten…
Shouting a happy Cooeeee down the long hall at my grandparents house, mince and tatties just for me, the big dark sideboard full of treasures, sweeties in the tin, the dank basement. Onwards my mind races, days out, lying on the grass in the park, a frisbee thrown, a glimpse caught, a first kiss.
The beat changes as the sun emerges to bounce off the glass walls of modern architecture. My pace slows. I always start too fast, too eager to do well, riding the high of achievement too far, it always comes to an end. I curse myself, pushing onwards I start to struggle. The memories disappear, everything is now.
Each step is an impact, each breath is concentrated, my body speaks to me in a million voices, each one begging for attention. I claw at my memories, hoping to bring them back from their hiding place. They remain hidden and the voices demand more attention. Each niggle, each stride, every ounce of effort is measured and accounted.
Turning the corner I join the main road. Two sides of the square remain and the horizon has disappeared from my view. Head down, I ignore the cars as they zip past. Focussed. Breathing hard. Determined. My mood pulls me down, my legs heavy. The sun skips behind clouds as the drizzle descends.
Time changes, slows and retracts. I fight against it, stronger than any head-wind, driving myself forward. Not long now. Not long now.
The final corner and I realise I am almost there, the home straight lies ahead, opening up before me, the pavements stretching out on either side, welcoming arms. I push on, the horizon swings back into sight, head back, pounding the pavement hard, revelling in all my glory. I’ve done it. I am here. I am now. I am everything. Adrenalin swirls through me as I sprint for the finish.
The final few steps are flat out, legs struggling to match my momentum, arms pumping as I glide across the earth. Then it’s over. I ease back, my legs are shaking, my heart thumps in my chest, a deep bass percussion.
Still breathing hard, I inhale my air, survey my kingdom and head for the shower.
For I am the god of the morning.