It was my first half marathon, the Love Run on the Schuylkill River. It was a huge accomplishment, paired with my upcoming graduation from Penn. This tin foil is the quintessential image for running a marathon. I remember not feeling my legs and sweating yet feeling cold at the same time. You can just envelope yourself in it. It’s a reminder of what you’ve accomplished. This item is usually discarded by runners, but I did not see the foil as a disposable after-thought. I kept in on for 2 hours after the marathon, even when I was eating. I called myself a ‘human burrito’. There’s even a photo with my friends where we’re all wrapped up in our foils.
The foil seems to take on a life of its own, a shining surface, making noise with the slightest movement—it becomes a mirror, reflecting my memory of this incredible accomplishment. A reflective reminder that I challenged my own self doubt, while embracing my strengths and loving the city around me. The foil lives under my desk now. Every so often I catch a glimpse of shimmery silver. When I see it I am reminded of when I said to myself “I’m almost there.” I feel relief. It was the inanimate embrace that was just what I needed.
This story was written for Emily Spivack’s workshop at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia on May 6th, 2015.