Running surprises me. I surprise me.
Fears and limitations aside, I feel like myself when I'm running.
I watched a home movie of three-year-old me (above, right), and there I was, running at full speed. I'm impressed by how I used my whole body to pump up speed.
Like kids tend to do, I suppose, but I'd forgotten...
Running does use my whole body more than I'd realized: sometimes even my shoulders get stiff. I go very slowly, though, so my body doesn't move dramatically.
The other day, a woman my age running toward me on the Greenway path asked, "How far are you going?"
Her question confused me.
"Um... just to the Uptown, about a mile..." I said.
Now she looked confused, and just nodded as we passed each other. It struck me that she must have thought I was one of her age-mates out for a "long run", one of those slower, long-distance runs people training for marathons do once a week.
I'm not embarrassed to run at a snail's pace in public, like some people. I like to think of myself as a role model:
Oh look, I imagine people thinking, there's a fat, old woman out exercising––isn't she brave and inspiring!
The other day I asked Marz to take my photo jogging down the alley by our place (above, left).
I don't look like I think I look. Yeah, I don't look like a slim, young athlete, but my hair is airborne, for heaven's sake.
Summer is being hard, though. I did jog twice last week, but even on a low-humidity day (rare), I couldn't go more than 1 mile. I thought about pushing myself farther and got back a very clear NO. I don't think of myself as being very in-touch with my body, so I was impressed that it knows how to get in touch with me.
(I am my body, of course, but that's not how I've thought about it.)
In May I had worked up to 3 miles, and I had imagined that would continue. I've been worried that I'm already failing at running. (Failing by giving up is a big neurotic fear of mine.)
I am reappraising.
It makes sense to think of this––my first running summer––as a time to strengthen my tendons and ligaments with slow, slow short trots, even if only once or twice a week.
The weather will cool off in a couple months.