The Trans Joy of Early Morning Running

It’s been three days in a row so that means I can talk about it. Do you know of the liberating trans joy of very early morning runs?

It begins in a shoe store. Our heroine is at last purchasing her first pair of girl shoes. She’d stuck with the New Balance boy shoes for longer than she’d expected, in spite of them being blue which is, after all, the color of boys. Yet they were comfortable and they were vegan and shopping makes her visible and sometimes she doesn’t have the energy for it.

Yet buy them she did, sleek New Balance running shoes that will help people gender her feet correctly. She had no way of knowing that they would call to an old part of her, a part she’d thought lost…

I ran cross country in high school, and through voter fraud engineered by my best friend, was even elected captain. For years afterward I found time to run regularly. Then, little by little, I stopped. When your body is wrong it’s hard to find time to care for it. So I didn’t run anymore.

She gets this idea. What if she wakes up just a little earlier, say between 4:30 and 4:45am, and runs, even for just 10-15 minutes? It’s swimsuit season, which offers unique terrors for trans folx, and there’s a stubborn patch of boy fat that misgenders her stomach. Maybe a kickstart to the metabolism is the way to go?

She has forgotten there are two reasons for why we do things: the reasons the mind natters on about, and the ones the body only sometimes reveals. She has no idea how good it would feel to run again. 

She has no idea how good it will feel to sweat in public spaces and not feel self-conscious. To not feel shame. When she sweats, certain truths about the hair on her head are revealed and it is not cute. But it is 4:45am in the god damn morning. No one awake enough to see or care. Her body moves differently now and she likes the difference. 

So she runs. She runs and another small but not insignificant part of her is made whole. She runs!

I have no idea if I’ll keep this going. The days are long and full of worries. But I seem to face them better after some sweaty joyful motion, and maybe sharing this out loud will keep me moving.

Published by CorinnaSchulenburg

Artist and Activist

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