There is a voice, an unrelenting, obnoxious voice, that lives inside my head. It mocks me, saying terrible things like,"You can't" and "Why do you even try?" Sometimes I have the willpower to ignore the voice. On my best days I give the voice the middle finger.
But there are times when I succumb to its power. Unfortunately, in the past month or so, I've fallen victim to its insults more often than not.
For years I was told I should not run. People with authority (my doctors, my parents) told me not to run. And because I was young and scared and sick, I listened.
My chest hurt. My breath crackled like Rice Krispies cereal. My cough stopped traffic. Really, I had to listen to them.
The problem is, I didn't just listen to them; I internalized their every word.
It's been years since I was told by my doctors and parents that I should not run. Those real, live voices have stopped. But somehow, the sum of their powers remain in the form of The Voice.
A voice that does NOT SHUT UP.
It's like I'm waiting for permission. I want to hear a doctor say, "It's OK. You can run. Go ahead, your asthma won't hurt you."
'Cause with every thud of my sneaker hitting the pavement, I become more and more certain it will.