I went for a little jog yesterday and, though I broke no speed records and lingered a little too long at stoplights, I smiled the whole way.
It had been a long, long time since I’d taken a run. Creaky knees sidelined me for a stretch that was starting to look permanent.
Several years ago, an MRI of my left knee indicated no structural damage, according to my orthopedic doctor. It still hurt a lot.
“Well, maybe he should go for a run on this knee,” I sputtered to my husband back then as I limped into the house following a failed attempt to run.
I shifted to other excercises like bootcamps and yoga and tried to tell myself I enjoyed them just as much. I do. But, I love running in a very different way then I love burpees and downdogs.
I miss everything about running — the smooth flow of bent elbows moving moving just above my waist, the steady pull of biceps that let me know they were there and they were working hard, the rhythm of my breath, the wander of my thoughts.
I don’t think any other excercise juxtaposes peace and challenge the way running does.
Years ago, I used to drop my son Vinnie off at pre-school and then run until I picked him up. I’d run through whole cities, criss-cross the river multiple times and then circle back again, energized for the rest of the day. I knew that kind of running was a gift, but I only considered the luxury of time in reference to my day (not many people could devote whole hours to running like that). I never considered the luxury of time as it relates to years, or a lifetime.
The route I jogged yesterday used to be the path I took on my off days, an easy 3.5 miles I ran when I just wanted to enjoy my time. It includes a downward slope toward the river and I used to see the sun rise right there on my easy morning jogs.
I can’t say yesterday’s run was easy, or even that it was a run. It was more of an amble. But, my bent elbows flowed just above my waist, my biceps said hello, my breath found a rhythm and my thoughts wandered.
Man, it felt good to be back out there.
Here’s hoping those orthotics do the trick!