Everything started off about as normal as could be. I’d taken a break from working out because the kids were home on winter break, and it was hard enough to get my work done as it is. I gained weight, was starting to feel lethargic, and just not feeling right in the head as 2016 came around the block. I know i’ve been frustrated lately, it’s hard living with a disease that no matter what you try to do to make things better, all the effect may be is that you’ve slowed down the loss of vision and hearing a bit. Yeah, I should take my small victory, but it still feels like I’m losing a war of attrition.
So, with the kids back in t he school, I did what I needed to do. Laced up my shoes, put on my shorts, running shirt, beanie and sweatshirt and got my ass outside. The air quality is terrible right now, it’s what we get for being completely surrounded by mountains, all the smog, industrial pollution and such gets trapped in this bowl until a strong enough wind blows it all out. I stepped outside to the deary gray clouds that hung overhead. The chill of winter quickly biting at my hands and nose, there is still a crunch in the snow that hasn’t melted out of my driveway on the way to the sidewalk. I look up ahead of me and made a mental note of all the sections of sidewalk that aren’t shoveled clear. Even before I started, I found my shoulders squared, set like a linebacker ready to either take a hit or deliver one. I wasn’t even sure what the heck was my problem when I started running.
My thoughts kept wandering. What am I going to do this year? Am I going to get a job with all the expensive graduate courses I’ve been taking to jump-start a new career? Am I going to find something else to do? Will I ever get my short stories or novels finished and published? Will I do something that makes people proud of me?
My left shoelace kept coming undone. On the fifth time I had to stop and tie it, bending down once again, one knee on the pavement I looked up. Loudly, in a residential area, I cursed. You can guess the four letter word, giving the word enough extension that it had a lasting effect as the word seemed to sit in the air, hanging there when I was done and the silence settled back in. I wasn’t even a mile into my run and I already wanted to turn around and go home.
But, I didn’t.
I squared my shoulders again and just kept running, there was a long section of sidewalk were nobody had shoveled it for a while. Snow piled up past my ankles. I could have gone around it, but you know what? I was mad, didn’t care, and stomped my way through the snow. Kicking it up all over until I got back onto clear pavement. On the running trail near my second mile, it was clear as day on the ground, but I found a few small pillars of ice/snow that had settled next to the path.
I kicked them as I ran past. Some hurt, they were more ice than snow, those got a second or third kick as long as they stayed in front of me. I had the trail to myself, nobody else was stupid enough to run in this bitterly cold Utah morning. I couldn’t feel the cold anyways, my body was warmed up. I just had to keep hacking up the dreadful pollution in the air. As I got near to home, I still went out of the way to stomp through the snow and ice instead of staying on the side of the road. My thoughts kept bouncing around; annoyed at having Usher Syndrome, annoyed at stagnation, annoyed at letting my activism for this disease wean, annoyed at the stupid snow on the sidewalk. I made it home, shoulders squared and all, feeling a little better after the run. I went inside, drank some water and punished myself with the heavy curl bar and dumbbells I have.
I honestly don’t know what spurred all this. As I’m sitting here in my office. Late at night, writing my story of the day, the reflection seems confusing to me. Maybe in the start of 2016, I just have to get my head sorted out first, I just know that I’ve been doing everything I can to set my path on the right direction.