I've always enjoyed the pitiful act of running.
There's something about a runner's high on a snowy trail, hitting the wall at 20 miles of a 26 mile marathon and the whole process of no pain, no gain mantra.
Nothing ever comes closer and closest to what a runner experiences on a lonely road or trail, its pathways reaching out to your feet and spirit to greet you like a Dolphin's permanent smile.The run and act of running sticks with you all day long---way past the finish line or the last bend in the corner and the sprint to the finish.
All happening in living color through my dull mind as I endure my therapy sessions.
Yet, I keep going back to adore looking at my friendly closet full of running shoes.
Bright ones, dull ones, and stained ones. Why, there's my friend Mr. Vibrams, the finger shoes. Light and fast, barely a covered foot.
And yeah, if only I had a foot.
Next, look over there! My first pair of $100 running shoes. Anti-everything but smooth as silk and popping mad. I nearly gave up a month's worth of pay to get these puppies. And what happened? At the 180 mile mark the soles came unglued. Just like today. I came unglued, I swore it must have been those meteor showers overhead crashing on buildings, and even the sound of car mufflers backfiring broke me into a cold sweat and tears in my mental journey back to Afghanistan and another brief moment of hell in darkness.
These days each pair of running shoes, shorts, and T-shirts with my running closet friend reminds me of my running journey.
Brand-new, each shoe embraced my pride and longings until I discarded them into the purgatorial recesses of my closet.
Running was my silent way to my selfish desires. Like a pagan altar of worship, my running closet preserved and protected what I love to do the most.
When I was born to run, the shoes clung to me, the rituals of lacing up, fitting socks and warm-ups-- all habits of this runner's confession of his addictive behaviors.
I am no more as I shout, "I am a runner!" through these physical therapy sessions so lovingly executed by an indifferent assistant.
From a distance, every pair of running shoes, every shorts, every running shirt gathers in the gleaming spectator stands of my friendly closet to cheer me on from the memories from a bygone era.
I remorsefully respond to them, "...easy does it partners... chill," and things quiet down to a din over my private pity.
Realizing the sweat worn off,the cheers of crowds now ended, I am shocked back into reality once more like a diver breaking the surface in need of air.
"Stop,"and I proceed to take my meds and check the calendar for the next appointment with "Doctor you-know-who. "
I always leave the confusion and pain for another thoughtful reminder---the trophies and certificates, the midnight runs, and the relay for life.
The terrible reminder is the one I can no longer have.
These days, I just go back to my closet friend.
Waiting for me there in the company of running shoes, shorts, and shirts.
Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.
(Photo by H. Koppdelaney on Flickr, used under Creative Commons license)