I wake up to the sound of the deadbolt turning. All at once I’m comforted and oddly upset. It’s 630AM. On a normal day, I’d be hitting the snooze on the alarm that isn’t set right now so I could eventually get up and take him to work. But today is Saturday. We are both off from work, but he is gone spending time with his dad. They don’t do it often, so I’m glad he is going. And yet, I hate when he is gone.
I can’t go back to sleep. There are storms raging outside, the booms lighten the otherwise gloomy sky. It keeps raining. It feels like home.
I decide it’s time. I change and tie my keys into the thumb-hole on my running shirt. This is crazy, I shouldn’t be doing this. Not only because of the storm, but because of my health and the lack of him being around. I could get hurt and no one would know or know how to help me. I tie my shoes in stages – tight, tighter, tightest. It’s still raining outside, but only light mists fall now.
I run between bus stops, then walk. I run downhill and pick up speed. I walk now, watching the lightening dance in the sky. It’s so beautiful. I should be afraid of it, but I’m not.
I get on the treadmill, my familiar foe. I walk slowly, my joints gently releasing what feels like creaks but make no sound. I increase speed. I set the timer to count up, marking my time as an accomplishment instead of a fraction of a suggested time.
I increase the speed to a job. Suddenly, it’s like I never stopped running. 30 second, 60, 75. I have to stop – not because I can’t breathe or because I’m going to fall, but because my thighs have found each other unpleasant company. If I had pants, I could have gone longer.
I really miss running. It’s like being alive. Nothing else makes me feel that way.