Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Joy Of Running

Tomorrow is the first day that I can really run after the marathon. For the first few days I could hardly walk, let alone run. I felt so stiff and sore; I wondered if I would ever run again. The whole family thought it funny (in a nice way) that this guy who just ran 26.2 miles couldn’t walk down the stairs without a struggle.

When Hillary and I went out for our Tuesday morning run, I tried to run a few steps and then said I could not do it. She would have to run on her own. I walked for three miles, while she went ahead and ran. I struggled to keep from trying to run, knowing it would do more harm than good.

Later that week, I was playing ball with our dog Molly when I noticed how much she loved running. If you ever want to see what the pure joy of running looks like, play ball with a dog. The eyes flash, the tail wags the ears lay back and she goes for all she is worth, just to drop the ball at my feet and do it again.

Seeing her run I realized how much joy there is in running for me, and I how much I miss it when I can’t get out on the road and chase my own kind of ball. Of course for me, the ball is not a purely physical thing; unless you count the physical fitness that comes from running. That is one of my goals, but there is more. There is the emotional and mental fitness that comes from pushing against the ground and propelling oneself through the air. Moving your body and engaging the mind until the whole process turns into a kind of joy – the joy of running.

I wonder sometimes if my eyes flash like Molly’s when I run.

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