It was day 2. I set out and my calves and quads were tight as I walked briskly for the five-minute warmup thinking to myself….must get further than I did on Saturday. And I did. So then I relaxed a little and let my body fall into the rhythm. After the first running interval all I could think was….OMG…how many of these? My brain was calculating 60 seconds times 8 that’s 8 minutes and 90 seconds times 8 is 720 seconds which is 12 minutes…ok that’s 20 yep I’m a teacher I can totally do that in my head while running to distract myself from…dying!
It was sunny, 35 and beautiful, really, not too windy. And I was on a roll, finished mile one at 14:57 and she said you’re halfway! YAY I made it a mile….that was so fast, so I went a few extra feet before turning around at the end of the building. At the end of that running interval I started to hack and get a cramp again…..no sir, hey I know how to do this….slow deep breaths, two deep fast breaths, slow shallow….I was deep breathing out of asthmatic panic, old school. Neurons, muscles, working well together. Cardiovascular…well a little pissed off from so much time working 70 hours a week and not doing…CARDIO.
This time I was shocked when she said “one more minute” so I jogged that last minute slowly before my cooldown, old school AGR style. I know people who can’t run at all. People who struggle even more than I do. And I know one thing for certain, whether I can always run or not, as long as I continue my cardio, I am Asthma Girl Runner….I will always be a runner at heart, for life.
I started with a brisk walk and I felt alive, every step connecting my body to my neighborhood to my city and to my world. Every familiar landmark that I ran past felt like a milestone conquered. Grandview. Dayton Art Institute. MacPhersontown. The river stairway. Main Street bridge. Almost to Riverscape and back.
My asthma was so loud. It probably scared people. But still every time my app told me to run I ran. I ran until I coughed so hard I almost puked during one walking interval. I ran until I cried. I screamed I want to die. But I ran every interval and I never ever stopped moving.
If you’ve never run you might question my sanity. But if you have, I don’t need to explain myself; once a runner you always want to be one again, even when it hurts. Hell. Especially when it hurts.
Not even a plummet
Immersion in people
Imagine there’s no heaven
Only pain in this world
Imagine every night you wake
With scary mystery aches throbs stabs.
Imagine 26 days of anxiety
Wondering if you’re silly or a time bomb ticking away to death
Imagine test after test no answers
Research every week obsessing a little on the unknown
Imagine being diagnosed by a rule-out
Thorough if heated communication
Imagine the root cause is treatable
Surgery to happen when work takes a break
Imagine the joy and hope that accompanies less pain
Moving allowed, limited fitness permitted
Imagine the ecstasy as I cross the bridge
Literally to the other side.
Sunday morning. AGR peeps. Sunday.