Today was the first day in about four and a half months that I had enough energy to run outside. Wait, that’s incorrect….I didn’t mean….”run outside”. I meant to run. Period. When I was in high school, I was on the school track team. Actually, everyone was on the team if you showed up on the field with some damn tennis shoes…although one girl did run barefoot. Seriously. It was probably a real shock to my family and friends when I joined the team because I had never shown any interest in running. Ever. In fact, the only time I was ever competitive in running was on Field Day way back in elementary school. The truth was…I really didn’t want to run at all, but I had decided at the beginning of my senior year, I was going to try to be in as many yearbook pictures as possible. I was already a cheerleader, played the oboe in the band and was an honor society and student council member. But I wanted more (insert evil laughter here). Yup. If there was a club out there, I found it, even if it made no sense at all. ¿Hablas Español? (Um…what?) I didn’t care that the only Spanish word I knew was ¡Hola….because dagnabbit, there was sign up sheet! On the count of three, Spanish Club! Uno, Dos, Tres! Say cheese. Click.
While most clubs were pretty lenient with attendance, Track & Field was a little different. The coaches made it clear…if you wanted to be on the team…you actually had to participate in at least one meet. Say, what?! Those sneaky bastards! It was as if somehow, they had found out about my ingenious “plethora of pictures” plan. Were they out to get me? Come on, running around and cheering on a football field was a whole lot different from running at a scheduled meet. It was a whole different story. Unfortunately, it’s a story that does NOT have a happy ending. Long story short, I ran in one meet. I ran one race, the 100 meter dash. I came in 6th place (out of 7th!) and I totally embarrassed my mother…She was in the bleachers, looking disgraced… as I breathlessly shouted “Hey…Mom!” as I walked around in a circle, with my hands on my hips, like I had just ran a damn 5K. Please, I got smoked. Anyway, she acted like she didn’t know me! Dang, Momma. Whatever…I still love you. Anyway, it wasn’t until my mid thirties that running found a place in my heart. Initially, I started running so I could lose my “baby weight.” At one point, I hated even tying up my shoelaces in order to run. Then one day, it happened. I hit my stride….and I became a runner. Before, my illness, I was logging in 30-50 miles a week. When I became sick, running was taken away took from me because I couldn’t sustain a healthy body weight. But, I fought back and started TPN, and I began to run again….and it was glorious. But then my chronic anemia reared its ugly head, so my running came to a halt, again. And although I get two days of straight iron infusions (for 5 weeks) every two months, I haven’t had the energy to run…until today. I ran and I felt like myself. Like me. Back when I ran for peace…not for pictures. I won’t go out tomorrow…my body needs a break…but maybe on Wednesday….just maybe.