Saturday, July 6, 2013

Running, Now and Then

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.


Krista said...

My first reaction to seeing that photo, before reading the post? "Wow, Fresca's made so much progress! And looks so oddly comfortable with running!" Srsly.

poodletail said...

I agree with Krista, Fresca. You look like, well, a runner. "Summer Running" is in a different category than "Running". Your body is right.

momo said...

I see you running!

Fresca said...

Thanks, people!
I'm suffering from Imposter Syndrome, I think.
Hopefully, if I can keep jogging, this will fade.