Sometimes it’s lonely being single. Of course it is. But sometimes the loneliness hits you when you least expect it.
Friends and I signed up for a party run. For the uninitiated -- a party run is a race followed by a party. But by the time the race came around, everyone had backed out for one reason or another.
Everyone except me.
Now, typically I run by myself, so it wasn’t the race that worried me. It was before the run that had me freaking out. Before a run you are just standing around, talking with friends, trying to keep warm, thinking about bailing, and wondering why you keep signing up for these things. You hop around, you laugh, judge other runners and wait for the starting gun. But when you are alone, well, you just stand there. Alone. Surrounded by hundreds of people.
Of course I thought about bailing, too, as I walked down to the start. I kept thinking I can just go home. No one will know.
But I had made a promise to myself earlier. If I went to run, I didn’t have to face the party. After all, this was my choice -- to be single. And being single means sometimes I will be all by myself. Sometimes there will be things I want to do that no one is contractually obligated to do with me. But all that pep talk aside, I still wasn’t ready to go to a party alone.
When I finally made it to the starting line, it wasn’t nearly as bad or as lonesome as I feared. I saw people I knew, talked to them for a bit. Checked my bag, lined up at the start. Saw CK. He wasn’t running but was waiting dutifully with his new girlfriend. I waved. He waved back. Then the gun went off, I took off, and before I knew it, the race was over and I had finished the four miles in a time that even shocked me.
I was feeling so good post-race, I almost wanted to brave the party.
Maybe next year.