mardi 18 mai 2010

Not Jell-O yet

Making the angles


Shortly before 3 pm, I walked out the living room French door to see the sun in the flowers and leaves and watch the fish chase each other (they are mating again), my hand aching from cutting the metal framing studs (isn't it interesting how many words in construction make reference to male virility? Studs, members... yuck) into angles to which to attach the blocking to which to face nail the window and door casings. It was right at that very instant that I was seized by the desire to go for a run. My first since I hurt my back at Easter.

Don't look at a calendar.

My brain had finally accepted the message to get up and move. I turned around, headed upstairs, changed into my running gear, covering as much skin as I possibly could, grabbed one of my pink running caps, slathered 50 SP anti UVB cream on any skin not covered, plucked my husband's Oakleys up off the ledge by the door along with my house keys and headed out into the brilliant sunshine.

Heading up the street toward the hill that leads, eventually, to the Transamazonienne, I considered my route. Should I turn left at the top of the hill and take the short version or turn right and attack the same one I did on my last run? I turned right. I could always walk, and there's no sense not finding out just exactly how I measure up against myself after a 6-week period of a sloth-like state that left me taking more of me out for a run than the last time. Until inspiration hit, after days of deliberation, I felt too heavy to even contemplate movement.

I knew it was in my mind, but the mind is a powerful force and gets its way too often.

I hit the Transamazonienne and turned left up the gentle rise, staying on the side with patches of shade. I ran on. It was easy. What was this? Did it not matter that I had done nothing for weeks?

Could it be?

I ran past the path out of the boar forest on my right and the street back home (a safety exit) on my left, and noted the lack of shade for the next 200 meters. The heat picked up. I glanced at my watch when I thought I had to have hit the half-way point, my house down there to my left, somewhere. 20 minutes. Not quite halfway. I still felt great, and I was at the easy slope down to the traffic circle, and there was shade.

It was halfway down the slope that I began to feel my feet ache. Not my butt. Not my legs. No, my insteps.

"Lift your feet," I instructed myself. "More bounce. C'mon."

Myself sighed and raised my knees higher.

"Keep going. You're more than halfway there."

Leaving the traffic circle, I ran into unsheltered pavement. Fields stretched to the left and to the right under a wide blue sky. The sun beat down, and it wasn't even summer hot. I pulled my sleeves down to my hands, lowered my head and let my visor frame the view of the pavement just in front of my feet. I heard a little voice.

Can I walk? Please? Myself asked, rather plaintively.

I thought about it. I could say no and pay for it tomorrow with an absolute refusal to go out again, or I could remain flexible, open-minded, show an ability to take changing circumstances into consideration (like being out of shape, after all, and having chosen to run in the hottest moment of the afternoon). I made up my mind.

"Alright. But just to the intersection up there, where the road cuts up past the orchard to the road through the field."

Myself nodded happily and showed her appreciation by keeping up a nice pace. Those passing me in their cars could admire my fast-walking form. We arrived at the posts marking the road to the left.

"Okay. Go."

Okay. Up came my knees, and I was off at an easy pace again, up the faux plat to the road home.

Um.

"Now what?"

Um, I'm a little -- sore?

"Are you asking to walk again?" Myself nodded. I sighed. "Alright, but just to the next village sign, you hear me? Then you are finishing up all the way home. No excuses." Myself nodded, eager to please. The sign approached faster than either of us wanted.

"Ready to go?"

Yeah.

"C'mon, a little enthusiasm now." We set off again. I heard a yelp and noticed my abs were hanging out there in front, like the head of a deer tied to the roof of the car, bouncing around.

"Hey! You're supposed to be driving!"

Sorry. They didn't sound very sorry.

"And you, butt, you're supposed to be helping, too. What are you doing there in the backseat?"

Sorry! it squealed and scrambled over the seat to join my abs at the wheel. We were almost at the road down to home. Downhill a whole kilometer. Shade. Fastoche!

But wait. What was that? This was harder? I made it to the sign into the village. Only another kilometer to go, and then --

Ouch!

I felt the pebble pressing into the side of the base of my big toe. Just ahead, there was a planter. I could sit on the edge and empty my shoe.

"Coward."

No, really, it hurts!

"Coward." I sat, untied my shoe, pulled it off and turned it upside down. Nothing. "See?"

Really. I felt it. You know I did. I did. I shook harder. Still nothing. My shoes, a bone spur. Whatever. I pulled it back on and set off again, thinking, This is for dignity and honor.

By the time I arrived at the gate, I had a much clearer sense of what those two words mean, and we'll see about tomorrow.
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