Friday, November 27, 2015

Running through the Semester by Masha Toulokhonova

            By now, our eyes open naturally at the crack of dawn. Without speaking a word we change out of our pajamas, lace up our shoes, and quietly shut the door behind us. Watches beep as the timer starts and we place one foot in front of the other, slowly waking our bodies up. Morning runs have become the singular constant throughout the fast-paced, ever-changing semester. With this daily activity we’ve created an outlet to de-stress, honor our bodies, explore the beautiful surroundings, and form lasting bonds.
            Since we have not had a permanent home for the past four months, I’ve been living out of my bag (probably not the best idea), with the exception of my running clothes. A group of us has made an effort to run in every location we visit and because this is our second visit to Las Cruces and the final destination, our goal is accomplished. Not only have we attained our goal, but also looking back on the semester in terms of running locations has been a means of evaluating our progress and growth.
The past three weeks have especially been a time of reflection. With the onset of our individual projects (IP) and with the closing of the semester, our runs have been particularly beneficial. To lay out the vibes: all four IP groups had different schedules in terms of data collection, everyone had a lot of work to do, and we all had conflicting feelings due to the semester ending. My group’s project involved data collection from 3 PM – 10 PM with no defined schedule. Although I am self-proclaimed lover of fast-paced, unmonotonous work, it was tiresome and difficult at times. After data collection, we had to analyze the data, write the final papers, create posters that highlight our project, and discuss our findings during a two-hour presentation session. On top of that, conflicting emotions hover above. I’m excited to go home but apprehensive about leaving Costa Rica, happy to see my friends but sad to leave the ones I’ve made here, eager to taste my favorite foods again but troubled by the fact that I won’t be able to make gallo pinto that compares to Costa Rica’s.

Despite the disorderly schedules and tumultuous emotions, running has been the channel to a clear mind. I’ve been able to think through my emotions, slow down, appreciate my accomplishments, and most importantly express gratitude for the experiences I’ve had here.

No comments:

Post a Comment