Run with Shinazy
As little kids we all ran. We ran out the front door. We ran to hug grandma when she came to visit. We ran to our bedroom window to watch raindrops stream down freshly cleaned glass. Then the day came when we thought sauntering was sexier, so we stopped running. But for some of us another-day came and we started running again, only this time the destination was unimportant. Instead we did it to reduce stress, to keep our bones strong, to improve our cardiovascular system.
Because we were all children, you would think running as an adult would be a natural activity. Yes, that would be a reasonable thought to think. But I am here to tell you … it ain’t so. I’ve been putting my feet on the ground for 34 years, completing 11 marathons, and I still find it difficult to run after a period of non-running.
I’ve always been active. In school I was on the track team, hockey team, cross-country team. So, running out my front door, in my Sears Keds, was a good fit for me. But do it consistently … well, I seem to run out of focus. For me, launching running programs requires NASA level effort.
Now, I say ‘programs’ because I’ve started and stopped many times – how many fingers and toes do I have? There was one year where I started my running program the first of every month – I was unable to get beyond running a few blocks.
Then there was the year of The Back, the day I opened my eyes and was unable to move – it took me 45 minutes to throw my body onto the floor (but, that’s another story.)
Last year, while training to climb the cables at Half Dome, I hiked, and hiked, and hiked. I was getting strong again and my back was behaving. I tentatively approached the idea of yet another running program. Was I healed enough to run? Hooray! The answer was ‘Yes”.
How did last year’s running program go? Well … on an 18-mile hike in the coastal mountains, with the sun peak-a-booing with the fog, I felt invincible. There I was on a dirt trail, heading down hill and I was overtaken by the desire to run. Flying I was. One moment I’m in heaven, the next nanosecond I’m eating dirt: sprained ankle, scraped knees, smashed shoulder, and a bloody nose. What just happened? The end of that year’s running program is what happened.
I’ve mostly recovered from that fall and this month I started yet another running program – only this time I’m staying on flat, paved streets. I decided to duplicate what I did when I started running: 1 mile for a month. Only then will I know if this program becomes a streak. And similar to when we were children I can hear myself say, See Shinazy. See Shinazy run. Run, Shinazy, run.
photo by shinazy
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