Many years ago, I used to run. I loved running. I started running in 1980. Just a 30 minutes run most days. At a leisurely pace, but one that turned my thighs to steel and my body lean.
The photo below was taken in June 1980, after I completed 16 miles of a marathon. I had to quit when I developed hip pain, which turned into chronic tendonitis that plagues me to this day in certain positions, and with a loss of full range of motion.
Running for me became a space to travel to... a place in my mind... although I had to have a small portion of my awareness on the road, the traffic, paying attention to all the pertinent dangers that exist to one trekking along, rhythmic breathing, cooling sweat trickling from my face and body.
Over the years, running has taken its toll. My left knee complains at times now, so running has given way to walking. My feet aren't too fond of that constant pounding either.
But my brain misses the endorphin rush that zoning out while running would give me. At one time, I could be 'in the zone' within minutes of starting a run. It all became effortless and timeless. At times I would extend a run simply to keep the runner's high going. But in the end, I had to admit defeat and give it up.
This year, I have convinced myself that I need something to attain as far as physical fitness goes. So I have decided a start is this: The Inaugural Air Force Run. My dad was in the Air Force. I grew up on AF bases across Canada, and even spent six months in Biloxi, Mississippi when I was four and Dad was on course down there.
My brother-in-law is in the Air Force as well, so I have convinced my sister and her good husband, the Captain, to join me in this 5 km fun run/walk. I won't run but I can walk for hours, as can my sister, all from taking the dogs for daily walks. But I am going to try and push myself a bit and see if I can keep a steady pace that is more than just a leisurely amble.
So... I have six weeks to get into a bit better shape for this walk. I know a lot of people who run for exercise will think that this is probably a wussy thing, but for one who can't run anymore, it is what I can do. And it is for a good cause too, as it is a fund raiser for support services for military personnel and their families.
Besides, I will get a t-shirt for my efforts too!