— Ella Maillart
On Sunday, I will be running the Nike Women’s 15km at the Toronto Islands. For those of you who tolerate my gym selfies on Snapchat daily know that I have worked my ass off, literally, to even attempt this. In the ten years I’ve spent in this city, I have never bothered taking the ferry to the Islands and I’m so glad that Zahra Travels’ opening blog starts in Toronto.
I found running eleven months ago out of frustration. Writing three years ago. When I was a graduate at 17, I had no clue what to do with my life. Had no clue the four years in high school when I was supposed to get a clue. Had no clue in the years I was fortunate to go to university.
I have friends telling me the most important thing is to endure. I think this is correct. You want to continue. And be brave enough to change your mind or fall into whatever. I think I talk too much, to my blog particularly, and I know nothing of success. But I do know what it feels like to tighten your shoelaces at 5 am, for 5 has become a friend, and plunge step after step on concrete. I feel like I’m writing poetry then.
I wouldn’t have any of those feelings if I stuck to what I said about myself when I was 17. I know running loves me. She is jealous towards me, hates words. She gives me the high of traveling on my two feet. I wouldn’t know what her love was like if I followed the recommendations of other people. An accountant. Which is fine. Which is also not fine.
17 year old, I hope you endure and fall into something that seduces you that is not a person or a prescription from a person. If you’re almost old enough to die for a flag, you’re old enough to die to your own expectations, or someone else’s.