Running Away

April 15, 2021

I have friends that have tried to run from their problems. Whether it’s drug addiction, alcohol, a failed relationship, family problems. They move to a new place and their troubles follow them. I had a friend move out to Utah from Boston to escape his cocaine habit and failed relationship. Once he got here he just found the guys who had cocaine and started hanging out with them. Next thing you know his addiction was worse.

Luckily my friend got that monkey off of his back and got married and is a completely changed man but there were times when we thought we may need to intervene.

Every time something bad happens to me I want to run. A recent shocking breakup me made me fidgety. All was well until it immediately wasn’t. I needed to move, to escape, to run, to get her out of my mind and heart. I had a friend in Jackson Hole invite me out for closing weekend. Next thing I know I am on the road with my bike and skis in tow.

We went on a bike ride in the Grand Teton park. It was beautiful but she wanted to talk. I wanted to ride. I wanted to ride hard and sweat her out of my mind. To be cleansed in the oblivion of pain and exercise.

She wanted to see what was up with me. Maybe to get a sense of where I stand as a potential boyfriend or hookup (as I discovered throughout the day), which was furthest from my mind. I didn’t even want to be touched.

We started talking on our ride and it lead to me pouring my heart out. By the time we finished the ride I was shook. I was sad and angry that it happened so fast and in hindsight some of the things I did and some she did. The typical anecdotes: It was timing, it was too quick, it was too intense too early so therefore it couldn’t be “real”. It was me. It was her.

I had no right to confide in her but she asked. I resented my recent ex, to no fault of her own. for the pain and not seeing the thing we had. I projected. I handled things wrong. I saw her telling me what she wanted clearly from a partner and not doing the same to me. I was already looking forward to our life together. In my mind I was being an idealist and dreamed of the things we would do together and with her kids. Too quick? Codependent? Maybe, but she told me right off the bat she was sizing me up as a potential step father so what was I supposed to think?

My friends gentle inquisition on our bike ride made me angry. I wanted to run even further away. I didn’t even want to be in Jackson anymore. I didn’t want to be with this person with ulterior motives who was growing to feel like I was using her for a place to stay. The weekend turned sour. I went to bed early after taking over designated driving duties. I took off on Sunday, a day early, after skiing alone for four hours. I watched all the lifties and locals partying and drinking on the mountain and i skied alone and pondered. I had a long drive home to think about everything.

I run. That is what I do. I was upset that I couldn’t put into words at the time what I was feeling. I was upset that I couldn’t immediately feel the pain of loss and sadness that took me driving 300 miles and take a long bike ride with a semi-stranger to figure out.

However, this was a lesson. With every heartache, pain, or problem I run from and finally stop, exhausted and spent, I feel like I run a little bit closer to me.

Written by Corey Smaller Follow me on Instagram