Sunday, October 16, 2011

Be Still My Heart

I age by years at the mention of your name.

Aging is a process capable of being performed gracefully. Sometimes, however, you need assistance in making it so. As one who was more than simply skeptical when a couple of my high school classmates announced this time last year on the occasion of the one (and likely only) reunion of our class that they intended to mount this year a reunion that included every class from 1980 through 1989, I am constrained to give credit where credit is due. The "All 80's Reunion" was last night. And it was quite a nice night. Props to Em for pulling off this show. I presume she is sleeping in today. She earned it.

This morning I did something that I had not done since this time last week: I ran. Last Sunday I participated in the 18 Mile LBI Run, which kicked the living tar out of me. When one chooses to prepare improperly for an 18-mile road race, one gets what one deserves and one deserves what one gets. Consider Yours truly properly served. For the first couple of days this week, my legs were simply sore - indicative of the type of strain and stress one places on one's legs while completing an 18-mile run. However as the stiffness worked its way out by mid-week, I became more aware of the sharp pain behind my right kneecap, which I had first noticed at or about the 12 mile mark on Sunday.

My knee neither swelled on Sunday nor at any time thereafter but what it lacked in enlarged surface area it more than made up for in discomfort. It hurt like hell to walk on (especially down stairs) for the duration of the week. I did something I rarely do. I exercised a bit of caution and in doing so ended up not lacing up my running shoes all week.

Running is - much like this exercise here - a cathartic endeavor for me. I sweat off a lot of stress and strain when I run. It is physically taxing but mentally soothing all at the same time. Not feeling well enough to run for seven whole days really put a crimp on my mojo.

On the plus side, it made getting out and pounding the pavement this morning feel that much better. This is the best time of year to run in the State of Concrete Gardens. There is an autumnal crisp in the air (well, every day except for Sunday 10/09 apparently) and it is chilly but not uncomfortably cold. It allows you to heat up and work up a sweat from the activity itself and not from the temperature. The cool, dry air is an elixir. You are able to go a greater distance or a faster pace than perhaps you otherwise would because you are running in an environment that does not draw energy from you but instead replenishes it for you.

And it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive. Not today. Not at all.

-AK

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