Running again

So, the first key is to start slowly, incrementally and avoid over-exuberance, avoid being driven by your ego. Think orchard growing, not fast food.  Think lifetime of development and growth. Think joy.
~ Barefoot Ted

It’s been well over 45 years since I first tried cross-country running in high school. It was an inglorious experiment as I quickly succumbed to a badly abscessed toe and extreme pain in my knee. I can still vividly recall the awful pain when Dr. Ortega lanced and cleaned my swollen and black middle toe. The knee pain, I found out years later, was a torn cartilage which had to be repaired surgically.

The abscessed toe resulted from too-small shoes – it was decades later that I learned about having room for my toes to “play the piano” inside the shoe box. The torn cartilage could have been from slamming into a car at 40 mph on a motorcycle. (I’m still surprised I survived that one.) Whatever the cause, running with torn parts and with no understanding of proper mechanics, core training, and general strength conditioning pretty much guaranteed a short high school running career.

I have gotten over the lack of guidance I received during those early years.  Either the coaches didn’t know what to do or they just didn’t care. Whatever. We learn and move ahead.

Now, thanks to the entry of a mutt with ADHD into my life I’m back logging miles and still learning from what went wrong back then.

Badger showed up 15 months ago as a small pup looking for a home. Total Sweetness.
Now he is a 100 lb bundle of energy that must be vented through vigorous exercise to keep him from exploding. Still Sweet.

I could not ask for a better running partner! He is always ready to go regardless of the time of day or the weather. He is always ready to go farther and faster than me but always OK with staying at my side, regardless of the pace. (He would like to chase the local kids, cats, and dogs, but we somehow manage to keep that impulse under control.) Most importantly, he is simply happy to go.

Together, we’re just two guys who love to move and explore and to do it with no other reason or justification.

Both bundled up for a December nighttime jog.
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4 thoughts on “Running again”

  1. Michael, it’s not easy to take up something as hard as running is on your joints after so many years. You’re doing a remarkable job of staying present to where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to go (nowhere?), and feeling the joy in all of it. You and Badger seem like the perfect buddies!

    Keep blogging!

    • What surprised me, Susan, is how much better my joints feel from running with correct form. And the world is a very different place when you have your feet on the ground instead of your butt in a car seat. Places I’ve lived for years are new and wonderful.


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