’ve jogged for years, ever since my first Corporate 5k. And I hated every step of it.
When I cycle, there is motion and wind and fun. If I stop peddling I glide like an eagle (as opposed to jogging, where when I stop I feel black guilt). I’ve never felt that “runner’s high”. I’ve jogged and jogged and never gotten any better, holding a just-over 10 minute/mile rate. And my support squad, the Lunch Runners, has dropped from a dozen years back to… just me.
But still I had a commitment to this; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, even though it took out three hours of what was once enjoyable writing time. So, instead of coming back to the desk after lunch feeling jazzed about an idea, a phrase or story, I’d limp back sweating (even after the shower in the unventilated locker room) and drip into my shorts, taking forever to cool down.
Thus, a week ago I found myself outside in the noon-day heat, shooing away the beggar ducks as I stretched and reminding myself to get into that lookout-fer-the-cars mindset. And off I went. The run itself was unremarkable – since my efforts have been haphazard, I’m still not up to my prime and found myself stopping at just over two miles to walk out stiff calves. Got back to work, took my shower, got some water, at my lunch at my desk, worked for some time, went to stand up.
My right knee flared with hard pain.
And that was strange. Nothing in the run felt wrong but afterwards everything was.
So this is about the forth injury I’ve suffered running. Feet, knees, calves, everything has been damaged at one time. And when I hurt myself jogging, I can’t ride my bike (which sucks even more). So I found myself sitting at my desk, still dripping, my leg icepacked with a coffee-filter baggy filled with drink-machine ice, and thought Enough.
That’s it. I’m done. While I’ll miss the respiratory and cardiovascular benefits of running, I am going to do myself serious harm some day if I keep this up.
And then there is the added benefit – I get to write again. So this first week off the treadmill of suburban jogging, I found myself writing once again. I read over old efforts. I kicked out a short story (just a for-fun experimental piece). Of course, there was that first day where Micro$oft Office started its configuration nonsense. As I mentioned, I just went over to Open Office and that settled that.
Yeah, I might not be as healthy as before (baring all the injuries and agonies) but at least I’ve rediscovered the “Joy of Writing”.