Sometimes I dream that I’m running. There I am on a long stretch of road: arms pumping, legs taut, chest rising and falling in rhythmic breathing. In, out. In, out. I’m moving fast, pounding my feet against the pavement, blocking out the fear, the doubt, the pain. I can do this. I can do this.
I push past the cramps, the aches, the dizziness. I push past the barrier until there’s nothing left but the pure sensation that I’m soaring. Supersblooddysonic, I’m sprinting so fast! My feet aren’t even touching the ground. This is the closest I’ve come to flying.
It used to drive me crazy that the men in my life were always leaping off buildings and soaring around at will, while my own dream-self stood fully grounded, shaking her logical head and calculating the odds of a fall. Unable to defy the laws of gravity, she settles for running. It may only be happening while I sleep, but the sensation of wind and sweat on my face as I propel my limbs forward, calf muscled coiled, tense, alert, makes me feel alive.
The exhilaration is so intense that sometimes I’m still on a runner’s high in the morning. My muscles even hurt. Try explaining that to people at work. Oh yeah, I dream-ran five miles this morning.
Despite what you may interpret, I don’t think my nocturnal reveries are a form of escapism. I think I’m in love with pushing my body to its limits. Now, if I could only convince my dream-self to fly.