Today I went running for the first time in years. Actually, I alternated between running and walking. For two miles. I left the house with high ambitions to run and then keep running...right past the pain and into mindless oblivion. I used to be capable of that. I don't know how, except that it was a long time ago. Today I wanted to run until there was nothing left to get in the way of clear thinking.
But I forgot...that it doesn't work that way. You need to work your way into it. Slowly. Diligently. You need to work at it. A little bit at a time. Every day. So I ran down the wooded trail, along the river, then to the lake. I ran down peopleless paths because it was drizzling and wet outside. And in between the running, I walked. And breathed like an asthmatic. I verged on frustration. Why am I so out of shape? But decided to be kind to myself. I decided that I will return to it tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. I'll keep returning to it until I get better. I'll push myself a little further everyday, but I won't push too hard. Just enough. I'll keep run/ walking until one day I'm able to just run. And then I'll continue running until I can do it without so much pain. Without the asthmatic panting.
Before running, I spent the morning writing. The whole time I was out on the trail I was thinking about how running and writing are the same way for me right now. Both require great patience with myself.