I’ve been told that as a little tyke, I was late to walk. Doesn’t surprise me given my basic lack of coordination and balance in any sport that actually requires that. I don’t remember, so I can’t tell you when I started running.
I know that as a young kid, I wanted to be able to go into the woods down the street like my brother. I was not allowed to. I would sneak out and follow him anyway. Then I worried about getting into trouble, so headed for home. I ran.
Then I learned about stranger danger, and was petrified to walk home from diving practice alone after dark. My parents refused to give me a ride the 1.5 blocks home in a safe suburban neighborhood. I ran.
A group of girls would gather after dark at the high school track. They would talk about boys. I ran.
I went to a track meet in high school and watched a young lady run the mile. Knowing I could at least beat her, I went out for the team the next year. My coach thought he had a new Freshman. I was a Senior. I ran.
I worked at a camp in the summer, and would head out after all the staff was supposed to be in bed so I could spend more time with my boyfriend. At about 2 am, after one more kiss and knowing that in less than 4 hours we’d be in charge of 10+ kids, we parted ways for bed. I ran.
In college, I did not know anyone. My roommate was potluck, and most of my high school friends stayed behind. A friend from that same camp told me about 10k runs…and that there were very few women runners. I ran.
I had a friend in PT school, who also ran. We would solve all the problems of the world in the three miles we could fit in between classes. We ran.
Another friend signed up for the 20 mile race from Madison to Stoughton, but then had a schedule conflict. She asked me if I wanted her entry. I ran.
I worked in Glacier Park for a summer with my fiance, and met 2 girls that had to stay in shape for X-Country in the Fall. We met early in the morning, and often hiked late into the evening. We ran.
I worked at another summer camp, and found, during training, another counselor who was training for a marathon. We ran.
When my engagement broke up, this same friend told me about a cabin in Tahoe that needed a caretaker for the winter. The snow was hip deep most mornings. I ran.
I met Jim in Tahoe when he was a biathlete recovering from back surgery. A few years later, after much healing, he wanted me to move to Corvallis where he was in graduate school. I was torn between that or the Mid-West where I had family and friends (including another boy). I knew that if I moved back to Chicago, it would not be safe to run there in the morning. I chose Jim. I ran.
We had little tykes, and I just needed a 30 minute break from their beautiful faces. Jim would man the fort. I ran.
Our border collie got older, and could not mtn bike anymore. We ran.
The dog died. I missed someone/something counting on me for a run, so I asked a couple of women I knew if I could join them on their shorter marathon training runs. I got another dog. We ran.
The women finished their marathon and the group morphed and changed. We settled into just 2 of us, and then we were 3. We ran.
Jim built trails on Moscow Mountain. It kept him away from home a lot. Most of the trails were too steep or technical for me to bike. I ran.
Jim got sick. It was incredibly stressful. knowing I had 2 other women and a dog counting on me to just show up kept me sane. We ran.
We talked. We ran. We cried….well that made us walk sometimes. We met at the same place and the same time 2 days per week no matter what the weather. Folks called us….dedicated, when they really wanted to say crazy. We ran.
Jim got really sick and started to need more and more care. I timed all his drugs so that I could be pretty sure he would sleep until 7 am. We ran.
Jim died. We ran.
I visited my kids in far away towns. I always brought my shoes. I ran.
I met Greg. He was into yoga and horses and lived in the boonies outside of the wind farm. I ran there, but I also would drive into town to meet the girls. We ran.
I learned that new love was fabulous and comforting, and that it was truly OK to be in love and yet have separate passions. Greg did not have to run. I had my girls. We ran.
We moved and in the process I started having knee pain. I listened. I stopped running for 6 weeks. I went on the river. I tried to bike and do yoga. My knee felt better, sorta. I had a wedding coming up. I was a little stressed. I found out that running uphill felt great, so I had Greg drop me at the Palouse river on his way to work. I ran.
The girls came out here to go with me until I could do 4+ miles again. We ran.
I decided to get my knee looked at. I got over my PTSD of the Gritman MRI center and had a picture or 10,000 taken. I met with the orthopod yesterday. Wanting it be at least slightly symptomatic for the appointment, I agreed to do the usual 4.7 miles on mostly pavement with the girls the morning before. We ran.
He says it would be good to scope it and clean out the debris of the torn meniscus. He also says that degenerative arthritis is setting in. Minimal now, but will get worse much quicker if I run. He’s advising that I stop running.
I don’t know how to do this.