By Holly Wise

The Cove Herald

I left my office Monday for lunch, I found a park with a walk/run trail, and I ran.

To think I sought this venture with the intent to clear my cluttered mind is astounding to me. Somehow, I needed to feel the fire in my lungs and hear the pounding of my feet on the pavement. I needed to concentrate on the rhythm of my breathing.

Breathing. I'm probably the only jogger who Googles "breathing during exercise" before getting ready to run my little mile. But the day before, I'd been confused. Is it in-through-your-nose, out-through-your-mouth? Or vice versa?

Google was going to settle my mental dispute. The first Web result gave me way more information than I needed or wanted to know. Honestly, I couldn't care less about the gas-exchange regions of my lungs or the alveolar oxygen concentration and its equivalent oxygen pressure.

I just needed to know how I would be hyperventilating: by breathing in through my nose or out.

I've never been the type of person to A) like running, or B) think of it as a way to exert bottled up energy or emotion, but it's becoming a punishing outlet for me to do both things.

It's also a good time to think.

While I focus on putting one foot in front of the other at a fast pace, I reflect on life, my life, and the actual race (the Tough Cookie duathalon) coming up in nine days.

I was thinking Monday about how great it'd be if my brother could run with me for moral support; only he couldn't actually run this race with me because it's women only. So then I thought that maybe he could run alongside the path next to me.

But about three footfalls later, I realized that this race is mine and I'll have to run it alone.

That's not a realization I want.

My brother, who I want beside me, can't be, and there's a chasm between what I want and what I can't have.

Sometimes, some things have to be done alone.

I'm not talking about the race in nine days anymore; I'm talking about the marathon we're all running.

I have a syndrome and I call it the "somebody, get over here now" syndrome. It usually rears its head in remote New Mexico towns when there's a lizard in my dresser drawer and I live alone. Or when my car's broken down in the desert. Or when I had the flu and needed medicine. Or when my dog died.

The end of this story isn't cool, because as much as I wished for someone, nobody came. I had to remove the lizard myself and set it free. I had to have my car towed and spend eight hours in the mechanic's shop. I had to drive my vomiting self to the gas station at the base of the Black Range Mountains for medicine. No amount of tears brought my dog back.

It's a race I have to run alone.

March 6 is my race date, my do-or-die-it's-all-on-the-line-and-up-to-me date.

In the meantime, I have to keep running this marathon called Life, and so do you.

It's our do-or-die-it's-all-on-the-line-and-up-to-us beautiful life.

Holly Wise is editor of the Cove Herald. Contact her at or (254) 501-7474. Follow her on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.

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