Why do I run?

by Chavi

I run to escape my destiny. I run to escape the certainty that there is a destiny.

I am trying to outrun three centuries of scholars and rabbis who cherished books and scorned Hedonism, even as they intellectually abolished the lines between physical and spiritual. It isn’t meant to me, they say sagely, God will help.

It weighs me down nonetheless, this heritage. I tell myself I’m young, I have a great metabolism, all I need is willpower. It laughs. Tells me I need a lot more than willpower, I need a virtual realignment of the stars to lose the creaky body, the scholarly slump, the philosopher’s melancholic eyes.

I see it more each time I run. That’s who I find running with me through the streets, panting and wheezing and aching in every muscle I never learned to name. When I reach a goal I’ve set out for myself I can’t tell if I’m succumbing or embracing. Running towards or running away.