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WALKING VS. RUNNING

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New York, 1987.

It’s January.

Her sneakers feel tight.

Emily keeps them on anyway.

The phone rings.

An enthusiastic voice on the other side says:

“Are you ready? We’ll be there in five minutes.”

She hangs up the phone.

There is an ambiguous smile on her face while she adjusts her ski hat.

Emily is ready for a ten-mile run.

It is a hobby? A habit? An addiction? A best friend she never says no to?

Running has “called” to Emily for years.

The week has been long and stressful.

She has too many thoughts racing in her mind.

What runs through Emily’s head must also run out of her body.

She feels compelled to leave her warm home on a freezing afternoon.

Drinking one last sip of water, she rushes through the front door.

Her friends, Carol and James, are waiting for her on the sidewalk in front of the building.

They begin to jog.

Every day is a perfect day to run.

Every day is a perfect day when Emily runs.

Her ears don’t hear — they feel sounds.

Her mouth doesn’t speak — it tastes the wind.

Her eyes don’t see — they appreciate the surroundings.

Her nose doesn’t smell — it breathes in peace.

Emily’s mind is not hers anymore — it belongs to “God.”

The heart beats to her steps.

Her body gives wings to her soul.

Her soul must find its own wings to soar.

She is in the moment. She is happy. She is free.

What a splendid way to live.

What a splendid way to die.

***

Emily left this world while running in January of 1987.

She was 31 years old.

As a trainer, I don’t recommend long-distance running to get and stay healthy.

Walking 30 minutes a day boosts the immune system, enhancing mental health and mood. It has significant benefits for cardiovascular health, cognitive health, and diabetes prevention, and it promotes mobility.

As a human being, I wish for us to learn how to live with our body and mind in harmony. I wish for us to listen to our body with the ears of reason. By doing so, we may say NO to anything that leads us running headfirst into the abyss of self-abuse, thus preventing early death.

May life be a beautiful walk toward self-knowledge and self-love.

May death be a peaceful transition into the unknown, and that, which was known, become a meaningful lesson to others.

Much love,

Valeria

** This narrative is based on true events **