Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bodies in motion.

My body keeps getting in the way of itself - and of my mileage goals - with it's inadequacies. Skin issues, stomach viruses and now, shin splints and a head cold.

It's dawning on me: I have spent 39 years not noticing my body. Certainly, not appreciating how well it works, how little it fails me.

These legs and arms and stomach muscles, while not Olympian or particularly photogenic, have been moving my brain and heart around all this time, a vehicle. I've had a perfectly reliable Volkswagen of a body and I've ignored it, treating as though it were an Edsel.

This soul casing of mine has survived chicken pox and pneumonia, acne, two big falls during childhood, breathing way too much hairspray, second hand cigarette smoke and smoggy L.A. air. It's been in a couple of car accidents, one so long ago that it involved flying forward in the passenger seat at full speed, cracking my head on the dashboard. It's survived falling in love, and all the emotions, hormones, and late nights that go with that. Plus, two babies have made their way into the world through me. Two entire people have lived in me. And come out the better for it.

My body has survived all of that, without my asking really.

And now, I am asking it to run just a few miles. Just 145 more miles. By July 18th.

But I've had to resort to walking now; my body just can't run at the moment. And so I'm doing what I've got to do: keep going. Today I walked my 3.3 miles and it took 48 minutes. I noticed a lot more that I do when I'm running. Families splayed out loving on one another. Little kids running from one pool of shade to the next. A big man lying in the lap of his wife. I am in awe of humanity, really. And today, I was going slow enough to see it.

This weekend we went to my sister in law's ranch house and the kids ran wild. This is them, their bodies not failing them, their spirits free. I get high just looking at them.

When I can run again, I will appreciate every step.


  1. I'm a confirmed and proud walker. I think walking is just as heathly as running and easier on my body. I love the reflective, thinking part too. When I tried running, all I could think about was the running. When I walk, I think about life.
    You're not "resorting" to anything; walking is great exercise and good for the soul!
    If you need a walking buddy, let me know = )

  2. I would be up for 4 - 6 miles on Saturday (5/8). Or the following weekend. Walk on sister!

  3. May I invite myself along for some walking, too? I have done NOTHING (except gain weight) since I hurt my knee. I really need to get back out there...:)

  4. Absolutely, Kim! I can't do Saturday. But how about a Mother's Day walk?

  5. Jennifer - does Mother's Day work for you?

  6. Yes, I can do early, like 6 - 8 am.
    Or early afternoon -- we go to church from 9:30 - 11 am.