The Challenge, Part X

The challenge of the Rings keeps calling my name through the haze of the summer and my various responsibilities in elder care and elder posthumous clean-up.

Without lots of practice, with many weeks in between, I give you, my status as of two weeks ago (as pathetic as it is):  IMG_1068

Yep, you and I — both — thought that, by now, I would be soaring through the air like a slightly ruffled, slightly uncoordinated, bird.

Nope, not there yet.

My agility this weekend was less than I had hoped.  And, Wendy, my trainer and my friend, was not available to push me and coach me from the sidelines.

But, soon, maybe even before Rosh Ha-Shanah.  Oy, it is early this year.  No time to waste. I may have to take days off from work and conquer the beast.

In the interim, CLSFOB has been reading my blog and decided that I needed to try her way of stress relief, running. She poo-poo’ed the “Ring thing”.

“You need to sweat this out; not dislocate your arms.  We are starting, ‘Operation Forrest Gump.”

SIDEBAR:  Is it just me, or do friends show their love and affection this way?

So, last weekend, dutiful and afraid, I dusted off my running shoes and met CLSFOB at the appointed place.  CLSFOB had already run her regimen in case I flamed out. To add insult to injury, she parked her car far enough away to run an extra mile before we met.

“Do you listen to music?” she asked.

“Why would I listen to music when I am running with you?  And I hate those ear bud things.”

“Ok, since you will be gasping, I will tell you stories to keep you going.”

“Horror stories?”  I asked, because it seemed appropriate for our undertaking.

“Shush.  Let’s start!”

Off we went.  We were not going very far.  Two miles down, stop for water, and two miles back.  And because, more than 30 years ago, she was a younger camper/counselor, I needed to do this and not flame out or look like a duck waddling on land.

I am 49 years old (or 53 depending on my blog), and I have not run any meaningful distance (except for the occasional cab or bus) in 5 years.  I had a pulmonary “issue” from May until early July.  What was I thinking?

True to her word, CLSFOB told me stories to keep me going.  She didn’t break a sweat.  And in truth, they were funny stories, except that gasping and laughing are not a great combination.

I was able to do two miles down, water, and less than one mile back up and walk another mile.

This weekend, CLSFOB had to work, but insisted that I run alone.

Her texts:

“Try three miles straight!”

“Don’t text back, run!”

“Don’t drink too much water, or you will cramp!”

Oy, I liked her stories better.  But I did run more and faster.

Then, the best text:

“You are awesome, I am so proud of you!!  Don’t forget to stretch!!”

Thank you, CLSFOB.  You are pretty damn awesome, yourself.  I can’t wait to hang out with you at our reunion and complain about my knees and hips because of this Operation Forrest Gump.

P.S.: what does stretching mean?