health is measured as the ability to recover
[quote from To Heal A Fractured World | Jonathan Sacks]
It’s Peachtree time.
I am not a morning person. And I’ve never thought of myself as a runner. Yet I still drag myself out of bed most mornings to lace up the sneakers and hit the pavement.
When I was young, I did mostly anaerobic sports. Other than swim team, I was a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, and never got in the habit of sustained aerobic exercise. I started running a little less than two years ago. I’m not even sure why. It didn’t require much to get started, it gave me something to do, and it was a way to spend time outside after being in a lab all afternoon mixing glue (my adhesive project, not drugs, geez).
Last March, I ran my first race - a 5k. Last Fourth of July, I ran my first Peachtree.
In between the Georgia heat on the Fourth of July, weaving through 60,000 runners, listening to bands play and supporters cheer and festive chants to celebrate America’s birthday, it’s the most fun race I’ve ever run. This year, I have shin splints from running in four cities over the past three weeks, but the atmosphere and energy of running through the heart of the city far outshines the negatives of running with sore shins.
On the best mornings, when I stumble out of bed in the dark and lace up my sneakers, I catch a glimpse of stars in the pink glow of the dawn. There are deep breaths of honeysuckle and Georgia grass as I stretch, and there are the familiar faces of other morning runners on the trails through my hometown. On those mornings, it’s easy to be thankful for the ability to put one foot in front of the other. It’s easy to remember a time when I couldn’t run three miles, much less six. It’s easy then, to marvel at what our bodies can accomplish, one day at a time, and over the course of an entire lifetime. The abuse that we take - the easy stresses of daily life - and our bodies’ abilities’ to take them in stride.
Enjoy your body; use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it - it is the greatest instrument you will ever own.
Ah, the Peachtree. Past the Buckhead Strip and Cardiac Hill and the Midtown Mile. See you on the other side of these glorious six miles.