Monday, August 27, 2007

Life's Highway

I ran at lunch today, and it was the first time I’ve tackled that stretch of street that brought me to my knees a couple of weeks ago. By the way, I’m healing up nicely. I’m finally scab-less and have lots of fresh, pink skin on my leg. The scar may not be too bad if I keep it medicated. When you run you never know what you’re going to encounter, even if you’re on a familiar route. I didn’t fall today, but I came upon several little surprises that forced me to draw an analogy between my life and that running path.

This path is fairly flat and easy on the feet and lungs. I like it when life is like that; smooth and easy. It doesn’t happen often, so it’s especially nice when it does. You have to enjoy it while it lasts, because you never know when a big hill is just around the corner. I don’t like hills, but they make me a stronger racer. This particular three mile stretch of sidewalk is full of hazards. You’ll be running along and suddenly a piece of sidewalk is sticking up just waiting for an unsuspecting foot. You have to be alert all the time, otherwise you’ll stumble headlong onto pavement. Trust me, I know. I have the knee to prove it. My days are full of little things that trip me up: impatience, stubbornness and pride, to name a few. I have the internal scars to prove that. About a mile into the run a dog came out of nowhere, determined to bite my butt. I haven’t seen this dog before. I tried talking nicely to him, but he wasn’t interested in my pleasantries, so I tried picking up my speed. I almost panicked until I saw he was on a leash that yanked him back just in time. I hate it when scary stuff just drops in out of nowhere and chews you up. Sometimes you escape intact like when your biopsy comes back okay. Sometimes you lose a limb, like when a family member dies suddenly. Scary is no fun, especially when it surprises you. I was pleasantly surprised by the yard sprinkler that showered me with just the right amount of water. It was 92 degrees out there, and while that doesn’t begin to match our past three weeks of 100 degree days, the sun was still pretty warm. That shower came at just the right time. I love it when something good and unexpected happens, like running into an old friend or finding a $10 bill in a coat pocket. I run with an iPod and usually it helps. Today it just felt like noise. It seemed too loud. I had to turn it off. Sometimes life seems a little too loud, and you want to turn it down. I didn't step in anything nasty today, but I barely missed some kind of sewage puddle. Sometimes **** happens, and you spend a lot of time cleaning up the mess.

I had a terrible run today. I was tired and slow. My head wasn’t in the game, and I just couldn’t find my pace. I was frustrated with myself. Hmm. Kind of like life lately. Somewhat stressful. Very tiring and a little frustrating. Mama J. and Papa T. have needed lots of extra care lately. Their needs have stretched us to the max and thrown us a few curves. I think it’s time to do what all runners do when they have a bad day. Stop. And Walk. Just for a while. To clear my head. And refocus. Maybe there’s a sprinkler in the next block.

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