This week it's on loud.
Our hearts thump against our ribs, and our feet move up and down the rickety bleacher steps. "Pick it up! Pick it up!" he yells as we clamber up and down, up and down. I have a stitch in my side and I can't think about anything except the next step, getting to the end, feeling my muscles sing with growing stronger. And ache a bit, too.
I'm in this running class learning to listen to my body, learning to remember that we are built to move, to live life loud from within these skeletons and muscle structures and beautiful mysterious bodies. I am running up and down the stairs in the wind and sun of the first day of spring realizing that to live at all, we must live loud.
We must push ourselves up and down the stairs, harder than we want to. We must challenge ourselves to be brave, and to run farther than we think we can. We must pull on sneakers and old T-shirts and make fools of ourselves running up and down bleachers learning how to be loud with joy.
I keep running, and slowly the stitch in my side fades and my breathing becomes steadier. I feel my lungs gulp the air and I push my hair back from my forehead. I love the loud that is growing. I love the loud of learning. I love how we somehow, in spite of ourselves, become the people we were meant to become.
Can we live loud and joyful and growing together? Can we breathe with hearts thumping and sneakers pounding against the pavement, the goodness it is just to be in this world?