I Wanna Get High - Cypress Hill

A friend of mine asked me if the "runner's high" was real. Actually a bunch of folks have asked me about it. I am a woman who spent a nice hunk of her youth getting high on many things from your run of the mill booze and weed, to more specialized endeavors like cocaine, acid, ecstasy, hashish, mushrooms, and a very romantic waltz with crystal methamphetamine to wrap things up pretty much in my late twenties. Other than squelching my chances at holding any kind of public office, I believe this list offers a few important notes regarding your narrator.

1.  I do not come from a background of prioritizing my physical health.
2.  I am not interested in appearing to be a jock of any kind.
3.  I am well aware of more accessible, easy, and much more potent ways to get a buzz on than running nine and a half miles.
4. While I have finally come to recognize that sometimes the way to happiness is straight through a field of horse shit, I generally prefer to stroll around it. In comfortable shoes. Adidas high top originals if at all possible.

I am not a noble person. I have not in my adult life, as a rule,  pushed through uncomfortable situations simply because it's healthy, right, or beneficial in the long run. I have also never been an, "I'm so looking forward to a brisk hike in the wilderness" type of dame. While I do enjoy nature and a great view, I don't want to work that hard for it. Frankly, friends, I like convenience and I like comfort. At the end of the day, if what you are looking for is simply to get high, it's much easier and more efficient to lift the bong to your mouth than to haul your ass around Golden Gate Park for three hours.

All that being said... yes, runner's high exists. It's not like any other way of getting high, though. It's not like high-out-of-your-mind-altered-by-chemical high. It's something durational, akin to all-night studying or falling in love/lust. It feels like my heart is cracked further open, like I can authentically understand how people are just really actual people, each with their own self-esteem problems and long roads trod, their own heartbreaks and clavicles. Each with their lists of things to do that never get done and regrets they'd do anything to not look at. For me the way the running feels is that I can actually look at some of those things in myself. I can find kind versions of shit I spent the whole day stewing over, and sometimes snippets of the book work themselves out along the path. Physically I feel a range of things so broad, I never could have imagined it. Sometimes I'll feel like quitting, which like I've said before is more often than not, and I will make a deal with myself to go over my body mentally and see how I am actually doing. Am I in pain? Maybe my heels a little bit. Am in winded? Usually no because I never go very fast. If someone was brandishing a weapon at my loved ones, could I keep going? Easily. The runner's high cuts through the bullshit of my mind. It lets my body be itself. Hot skin in cold wind. The real live constant thunk of my pulse. Everything physical feels like it's in italics. The world looks so much more beautiful, everything smells more acute, including myself, and salt tumbles out of my skin in the alchemy of a raised heartbeat. I will also spontaneously cry at the end of runs sometimes, less now than when I started, but it happens. It's a great high. It is. And it feels clean. That's new for me.

In other news, I seem to have developed a mild case of
plantar fasciitis. I'm stretching a bunch and also was given a tip to freeze a bottle of water and roll it out under my left heel.

Sara Elise


  1. Good on you. I started running last month, and I've just recently passed the "I want to stab myself in the eyes" phase, into the "I suppose I can keep doing this without killing everyone I know, just because I hate it so much" phase.

    Who'd have thought either of us would take up running?

  2. girl, you are the best. love, grant