Writer’s note: This is a creative short-story about my recent experience with runner’s high, a state of euphoria that athletes experience during prolonged periods of exercise. I titled it “Midnight Blue” because during the run that is described below, a midnight blue sky was the most dominant image that came to mind. Lastly, quick note: if you’re considering becoming a runner (or any type of endurance athlete), runner’s high is still legal in all fifty states ;). Hope you enjoy what I wrote!- Naima
Runner’s high is a fire over which I pour gasoline, as every stride sends a surge of happiness through my veins. A weary grin stretches across my face and euphoria permeates my being. Listening intently to the beat of Halsey’s song “Hurricane,” I fall into a trance.
In the realm of my imagination, I am jogging a post-race cool-down, as my fatigued pace is perfectly in tune with Halsey’s lyrics: “I’m a wanderess. I’m a one night stand. Don’t belong to no city. I’m a hurricane.” The sky is a perfect shade of deep blue, which contributes to this atmosphere of serenity and pure happiness. My teammates and I exchange positive thoughts about the race, as the Arlington skyscrapers tower over us. My mind is a clean slate. Loneliness, anxiety, and stress are foreign ideas. As I continue to match my slow pace to the mesmerizing rhythm of the song, I share a laugh with Emily and Casey. The innocence and happiness on our faces is evident even to the runners who haven’t met us. My thoughts swim in a sea of pure joy and music notes, as Halsey sings, “I’m the violence in the pouring rain. I’m a hurricane.”
I gently bring myself back into the present moment, as the treadmill’s conveyor belt continues to be my source of euphoria. Sweat glistens beautifully on my temples, and my mouth curls into a dimpled grin. Increasing my speed, I strike another match on my runner’s high, fuel myself with enough happiness to carry me through the rest of today. I wish I could bottle this feeling and save it for when I’ll really need it. But would that be healthy? To allow myself to repeatedly feel free of responsibilities and worries? Can I let go? I push these questions to the back of my mind, strike another match, and let the fire spread. Beautiful flames.