Monday, January 23, 2006

I Used to be a Runner

I used to run...

Oh, it's been many years since I went running. Mercy, do I miss it. A bad hip followed by several surgeries on my back and left knee have made this a distant memory. Or is it so distant?

I can conjure up so many pleasurable recollections from my running years. Very seldom did it fall into the category of "work". Most days, it was an act of pure rejuvenation. Something about blood flow, sweating, and exertion that come out of the blender as pure joy.

It's been proven that at a certain point in a long run, the brain begins to kick out chemicals (endorphins?) that produce a natural high. I could just about count on this happening about the 15 mile mark. It was as though my feet weren't touching concrete while mentally, all was right in the world. Oh, I miss that feeling.

Many, many of my miles came while my kids were very young. Carole was left to deal with them while I was out getting high. Not fair, was it? She had to deal with increased stress while I was jettisoning my own.

There was stupidity involved this preoccupation with fitness. I would get up at 4:15 AM, drive to White Rock Lake, and "run the lake", a distance of 9.3 miles. Then I'd return home and prepare for a day's work. At times I would train for a marathon and try to get in 50 miles a week. That's a ridiculous time investment at a point in my life where those hours would have been better spent being a husband and a father.

So maybe my body deterioration was God's way of telling me to slow down. I accept it. I have no choice. But do I ever miss those feelings of transcendent joy generated by a wildly pumping heart.


Brett and Jenny Perkins said...

Are you trying to get me to stop playing Scrabble?

Blake Perkins said...

I remember always seeing you take off down Breakwood to Colter Way on your way to jog down Everglade to Hunnicut and down to the looney asylum. It seemed to be forever that you were gone. It is neat though that you ran a marathon. Not many people can claim that.

Brooke said...

I can't believe you enjoyed running that much! I don't think your kids inherited that.