This morning I went for a 3 mile walk with my sis. It is our Friday morning ritual. She has several routes we like, but today we did the hilly 3 mile. Even walking, this one is tough and that is why this pregnant girl likes it! We finished our walk and I hopped in the car and headed home to get ready for work. When I cranked up the car, a song by Enrique Iglesias was playing on the radio and all of a sudden I was whisked back to the days of the mid-run swing.
Before I married Jason I lived in a cute little house in a sweet little neighborhood that had a park in it (it was also about a mile from where I live now). I absolutely loved living there and the little life I had. And I really loved that park. It had REAL swings. Not faded, plastic ones, but big rubber seats that hung on thick chains from really tall metal posts... they basically rocked and you could get some serious air. The park was along almost every running route I took and the swings always called to me when I ran by. So I made a deal. I could stop and swing, but only on the way BACK. I had to do most of the run first and then I could stop for a swing before heading home.
Those were the days. I wouldn't bring them back now, but they were pretty great then. The wind in my hair, nothing to rush off to do. No one waiting on me or expecting anything from me. Endless time to run and swing and run some more. So on the way back from almost all of my afternoon runs, I would stop at the park for a swing. I also had a swinging song, and I only listened to this song while I was swinging. I cannot explain why I chose the song I chose or how it became my swinging song. I would find it on my mp3 player (this was before the ipod came to be), hit play and begin pumping my legs back and forth to build momentum.
The song was "Escape" by Enrique Iglesias. As he sang in my ear, I would swing higher and higher, and when I got as high as I could go I would lean waaaaay back on the upward swing and pop my head back up as I flew backwards. What a rush! If you haven't tried this, you should. But you need a really good set of swings for it to work.
While swinging and listening to Escape (on repeat, because it was the swinging song), I thought. I thought about everything. I thought about the guy I was dating at the time and if it was worthwhile to continue dating him. The answer was always a "no" until I met Jason and it was usually while I was swinging that I came to that conclusion and sought the courage to do something about it. I would day dream. I'd have conversations with people that I'd never get to have, but it was fun to imagine what I'd say anyway. And sometimes I just drifted from thought to thought, settling on nothing for long. During these mid-run swings, I could be completely me with no worries, no plans, no deadlines, no limitations, no one's words in my ear but my own...and Enrique's.
Here's how it goes
you and me
up and down but maybe this time we'll get it right
worth the fight cause love is something you can't shake...
So if you go
you should know
its hard to just forget the past, so fast
It was good
It was bad, but it was real and that's all you have
In the end our love matters...
You can run, you can hide, but you can't escape my love...
For some reason I loved these words, and I think it was what I was looking for and what I was determined to find. It was always nice to return to the swings after a break-up. The breeze, the upside down trees behind me before I flipped my head back up... It was as if I was ridding myself of the last vestiges of hurt, uncertainty, sadness, and I was free. I would swing higher and higher so that my feet seemed to be reaching for the trees in front of me. And I'd swing like this until my legs started going to sleep and then I would hop off, change the song, leave the park and continue my run... usually awkwardly until my legs woke up again.
When I met Jason, I'm sure I visited my swings often to see how I felt about this new fellow in my life. I eventually married him, sold my little house and moved into his. At some point, without realizing it, "Escape" was no longer on my mp3 player and I did not return to my swings either. It wasn't planned. I didn't make a conscious decision to remove the song or stop visiting the swings... it just happened. I've run by them many times since I've been married but they didn't call to me like they used to. My new neighborhood also has a nice park, but in the 4+ years I've lived here I have not visited the swings once.
What exactly was the mid-run swing? I have my theories. And while I still enjoy a good swing, it is never done for the same reasons it was back then. However, it has been a pleasant memory to have with me today. And yes, while I wrote this post, I listened to Enrique sing "Escape." On repeat. Because that was the swinging song.