A Summary of Life in a 15 Minute Run

Carolyn Wang
5 min readJan 4, 2021

Today was the first day of school in 2021. I was back in online learning, and it was pouring rain outside. After school, I left for my daily 2 mile run with my ear buds, orange hat, and old running shoes in hopes of saving my normal pair from the brutal downpour.

I left the house like this.

A picture I took with my phone camera on a rainy run.

There were no sidewalks in my neighborhood. On the turn down the road, I stepped into a puddle, all while I could still feel the splish splash of rainwater on my jacket and face. Juicy socks. How fun.

Then as I was finishing up my first lap, my right ankle starting feeling odd.

On the second lap, I splashed into a puddle yet again, but now both my ankles were feeling slight throbs after I ran over a small hill. It turns out I made the wrong choice in choosing that old pair of shoes –– they don’t seem to be doing particularly well.

On my usual turn down the street, I came face to face with a fedex truck. There were still no sidewalks down the road, so I was running alongside the main road. As I waited for the fedex truck to pass, a garbage truck came along the left side of the intersection and another small car trailed behind me, preventing me from maneuvering down my usual route or turning back.

I had no other choice. I turned the opposite way to a route I never ran before and headed on. Somewhere along the way between my first and second lap, I tried taking another picture.

Oops.

A masterpiece photo taken by a lopsided camera in the not-so-fun rain.
A masterpiece photo taken by a lopsided camera in the not-so-fun rain.

The new road was relatively straight, and after some ground pounding, audiobook listening, and silent cursing at a few cars whisking by who splashed water and beeped everywhere, I came across another intersection (again).

By then, I was stuck in a moral dilemma. My throbbing ankles were telling me to please go home, as well as my annoyed orange hat who was looking comparably soaked to that of my best friend Mr. Sponge Bob.

Luckily, if I turned right, the road would lead me straight home in a few minutes. But it would also cut short my run. If I turned back, I could run a bit longer but I’d have to deal with rain, wet shoes, throbbing ankles, annoyed orange hats, and protesting lungs.

I gritted my teeth and turned back. Where’s the fun without some more silent cursing at passing cars anyways?

As I continued my prolonged running journey, my shins started protesting too. Darn those old shoes. In that split moment, I began regretting my previous choice of turning back and thought “perhaps I should’ve just went home.”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t really afford to turn back again, so I kept on going. And going. And going …

A considerable few minutes later, my ankles, shins, lungs, and soaked hat began shouting simultaneously at me to stop, and I really considered doing so. Perhaps it was time for me to stop forcing my poor old shoes to do the work. Maybe if I just took a quick walking break?

Until I saw this.

A split second looking up brought me this wonder. Beautiful, isn’t it?

It was the highlight of my day, seeing this rainbow. Even with my groaning body telling me to stop, I took the moment to thank whoever out there decided to splat this miracle in my face and increased my pace.

With my run coming to a close as I finally ran up the steps of my house, I took one last look at the beautiful rainbow and then back at myself, with all my drenched clothes, old shoes, old earbuds, and orange hat.

What would have happened, had I never decided to run out in the rain in the first place? What would have happened, had I not been forced to turn the opposite way at that intersection? What would have happened, had I not turned back and prolonged my running spree? What would have happened, had I not seen the beautiful half rainbow in my final moments of doubt?

I probably never would have finished the run. Definitely wouldn’t have, in fact, considering I was already quite bummed from the end of winter break and even more so by the gloomy day.

I can’t help thinking that life is the same way. When you start off taking a step out of your comfort zone into the rain with your old shoes and ear buds, it’s a gloomy risk. You will get drenched in rain and you will, very likely, feel utterly down from the down-pour. (Haha, get it? Okay nevermind, moving on.)

Maybe in the middle on your pursuit for something greater, you run into an obstacle or an intersection. Sometimes, you’ll have the choice of going the easy route home or turning to something harder. Other times, you’ll be forced by two chunky trucks and a small chubby car to run on a route you never planned on running.

Sometimes, you might make the wrong decision and get reprimanded for it by a car beep. Other times, you might make the harder decision and feel dragged down by other voices (such as darn-ol’ complaining soaked orange hats).

In the end, it’s up to you to follow through. And once you do, it will be you who gets the miraculous rainbow results after your years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice.

So today, I’d like to end this entry with my own little rainbow. Here’s the final picture I took after my run before I headed up my driveway.

A half-rainbow to a full one, taken by my trusty little phone camera.

Life is really full of surprises, huh?

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Carolyn Wang

CS, Stats, + PPL @ UC Berkeley. Writer, musician, triathlete, & explorer. More about me: carolynwangjy.medium.com/ae3eb5de2324