Here’s a weird little tidbit about me: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. That’s not weird, you say, Lot’s of people run marathons.
It’s weird because I am not an athletic person and I really don’t enjoy exercise. And being mildly asthmatic and having Multiple Sclerosis adds another level of challenge for me, but I’ve had this fixation since I was a kid and was inspired by a TV movie about a middle-aged woman who ran in the Boston Marathon. A few years ago I lowered my expectations to running a 10K by the time I was 50. I bought a new pair of shoes and started training for the Vancouver Sun Run. Very slowly at first, long walks, then long-fast walks, then long-fast-uphill walks. My husband walked with me; we irritated each other into action if necessary.
Wildfire season challenged my asthma over the summer. I had to be diligent about managing my energy because of my MS, sometimes adjusting the regimen so as not to overtax and aggravate my condition. But I was getting stronger and more resilient week by week. 10K was completely do-able. And then it was time to start introducing the running.
The synchronized rhythm of feet pounding and arms pumping and breath moving in and out. The pure exhilaration of your body, on it’s own power, cutting through the air so that you feel it moving over your sweat-beaded skin like wind. Persevering through the discipline part to get to the primal sensory experience of running.
I never got there.
My knees started to hurt. Then my knees started to swell. Then my knees took a considerable amount of time and patience and anti-inflammatory treatment to simply get back to doing yoga and walking without pain. Osteoarthritis runs strong in my family, so common sense said it was time to ease up and let this one go for the sake of future mobility.
I went back to my journal and on the January page where I had listed my resolutions for the year, next to *run 1/2 marathon, I wrote (gave it my best shot!)
I’m alright with that! There’s no shame in failing, as long as you gave it your best effort. But from my deck I can see, just now, a runner on the path across the creek, each out-breath making little plumes of vapour in the winter air …. I watch them until they almost disappear and then I close my eyes and live vicariously for a moment. *Smile*