Baby steps. Micro-goals. Linear progression.I used to love to run.
I remember being a teenager in Brooklyn and running through Prospect Park, through Grand Army Plaza, down Flatbush Ave to downtown Brooklyn.
I remember being in my 20's and preparing for and running marathons. I collected scores of shorter distance race bibs along the way until they papered a wall in my office. Track intervals, Sunday LSD, mile repeats. I remember the feeling of finding that groove and just running, a human animal in motion, momentarily tireless, briefly unstoppable - breathfully alive and flowing over the surface of the earth. I remember dreaming of running.
That feeling has been out of reach for a long while. Arthritic knees and a sciatica prone back have limited, and all but eliminated, running. Nevertheless, as the pandemic case numbers dropped and the vaccine numbers rose, I felt the need to get outside, get on my feet, and move.
I started walking. At first, 10,000 steps a day, now 12,000 steps day. At first, the walks alone were a challenge. My feet, knees, and back, were sorely reluctant but they slowly began to cooperate. The discomfort faded. Then, as the miles accumulated over time, the feeling of wanting to run began to grow. I remembered those dreams.
The weeks of walking seems to have prepared my legs for light running. So I'm sneaking up on running again, cautiously adding a little more each week, learning to work with the body I have now. Take some weight off the knees. Keep the legs strong with lifting and riding, and maybe we can get that feeling again. Managing the pace. Like a long lost love, a spark is there. With a little coaxing and the proper tinder, it just might grow.