I use to love to walk (seriously, I would see runners and think “pfft, those fools, slamming their body around like that, what’s the point?!”), then I went on a serious hike in the Gorge (Angel’s Rest) that kicked my ass and I was done with simply “walking” (“pfft, why just walk when you can sweat and work every muscle in your body by simply traveling up a mountain, climbing over some boulders and encountering an amazing view for your trouble”).
Then I ran.
Of course my love affair with running was not immediate. I only tried it because when I’d walk my puppy I saw so many others running and they seemed to enjoy it. I figured I’d give it a try. I remember thinking it couldn’t be that difficult. All you had to do was run.
Yeah. Right. This from the woman who failed P.E. in high school. Yes. That’s me. The amount of laughter that comes from my children whenever they hear me admit that fact is excessive. How do you fail P.E.? You simply don’t participate. I never participated in P.E. and only found joy in walking after my second son was born (I was 33). The joy in hiking came after my divorce (I was 42), when the first man I dated turned out to be a hiking enthusiast.
How hard could running really be?
First run I think I made it a block before I had to stop because I couldn’t figure out what that horrifying noise was. Turned out it was ME! Wheezing, trying to get oxygen to my lungs. I’m not sure why I even tried again. I was pretty sure (but not positive) if I continued I would likely die. But I did try again, and again, and again.
My puppy quit running with me after I ran my first 3 miles without stopping. He was about 9 months old at the time. As we approached the blessed 3 mile mark, he decided he was done. He simply sat down. He was 9 months old and just under 100 pounds. An English Mastiff. They aren’t made for running and he schooled me on that rather quickly. The next morning when I got up to run he tried desperately to blend into his pillow. . . . “Maybe if I’m very still she won’t notice me. . .”
These days, 3 years old and 200 pounds, he smiles at me as I go out the front door. He sits in the window watching me go and waiting for me to return. Happy to be left alone. (I took the picture below using Instagram, not sure I truly understand the whole Instagram thing, but I like the picture).
Next month I’ll turn 46 and celebrate the start of my fourth year of running.
I think I’m reflecting on my love affair with running because I’m temporarily sidelined . . . and we all know I’m not happy about it. I have, however, revisited my love for walking and hiking, and I’m grateful. I’ve been walking and hiking a lot; with my son, with Blue Eyes, with my puppy, with co-workers, alone.
I’m happy that I snuck in that 12 mile trail run, but I won’t run again until Dr. Grant gives me the go sign. I don’t want to hurt myself further and risk never running again and as good as I’m starting to feel (minus the freaking headache I’ve had for 16 days now), I’m hopeful I’ll get the nod next week! Even if I don’t I’m determined to be patient. I have much to look forward to. My mother visiting for a month in September, Vegas in October, my first ultra in October, my son turning 19 in November, Hawaii in December.
I’m most excited about my mom visiting and staying for 3 or 4 weeks, but immediately after that I’m excited to hit up Honolulu for the second December in a row . . . these pictures from last year still calm my spirit when I’m in a bit of a knot. . . .
The sunsets . . . .
The lovely flowers . . .
Even Occupy Honolulu is worth remembering. . . the perfect place to Occupy in my mind. . . . .
Could Hawaii in December become a habit? I certainly hope so. While last year’s trip was spectacular, this trip will be special for different reasons. This time I’ll take my boys and get to revel in being a part of their first trip to paradise. I’ll run the Honolulu Marathon and soak that experience for everything its worth and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to run with Jennifer and hope she doesn’t kick my ass. . .
As is generally the case, when I stop to reflect, I live a good life, am happy, healthy and aside from not being able to run, I’m content.
I really need to quit bitching.