Hit the ground running

by gabe wollenburg

I was born on a cold September Sunday.  That first night, I laced up and  went down to the park and while I was going under the bridge nearby the paddle boat rental place I was jumped by a guy with a club.He didn’t want anything, the guy with the club.  He just hit me again and again and again.  I went down with his first strike.  He kept hitting me.  I felt my forearms shatter as I held them up in a futile effort to protect my face.   I didn’t know what to do.  I was less than a day old and I didn’t know.  I didn’t know what to do.  My legs were broken.  My ribs were broken.

I remember, as I lie there under the bridge  slipping away from my body, floating, like they say you do, up from outside your body, seeing my mangled and broken corpse on the concrete.  I was so little.  I turned away from the scene beneath me, and looked up toward the evening’s full moon.

I remembered the warm bath of satisfaction I felt as I pulled the laces tight on my shoes as I was going out.  I remembered how much I loved the pinch of my laces against the top of my feet.  I remembered how a new set of shoes added a soft but subtle spring to my step.  Every time.  Every time I got a new set of shoes.

I was less than a day old.  These were the things I knew.  New shoes.  Running. Going down under the bridge.  I was less than a day old.  It was the first time I ever ran.  I didn’t want to stop.  Why should I stop?

I decided right then and there.

I was not going to let the man with the club shut me down.  I strapped up a new pair of shoes.  I pulled the laces tight.  I felt the spring in my step.  I turned and faced the moon.  One step after another, I ran again.  I ran on a sparkling, golden road of light.

I ran away.

And I have not stopped.

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