Today was cool for the end of July, even by Minnesota standards (hey, we had snow in May). Cool, but the sun was in a cloudless sky–perfect for a run!
Backing up a little, I need to tell you about running in this family. My husband turned to marathoning at the age of 40 in order to quit smoking……..mission accomplished. Our son, Ben, joined his dad and completed his first marathon when he was 16. Our daughter, Amy, picked up running in her 20’s, doing 10K’s and marathons.
So, you can probably see I’ve watched many marathons. The excitement and pride one sees in the finishers is an inspiration. So now you might understand how I, at the age of 50, started running.
I’m not going to used this post to brag about my running, because there is nothing to brag about. My tortoise-like pace is embarrassing. But every other day I try to pound out at least 3 miles. There’s always a reason to procrastinate—I need one more cup of coffee, I have to brush my teeth, I need some fruit chews for energy, did I remember an antihistamine? OK, no more excuses—darn it—that young thin woman on the corner is out in her yard (I hear she does 8 minute miles). I’ll just have to suck it up, smile, wave, and check my Garmin to make it look like I’m serious. Of course, there’s a wind from the north, I’m moving in slow-motion. Oh well, it’ll give me a tail-wind on the way back. The Garmin is beeping….what the?? “Behind Pace” flashes on the screen. I try to step it up. Finally, at the 1.5 mile mark, I allow myself to turn around, my goal of 3 miles is within reach. I reach my corner—yes, she’s still out there—smile, check Garmin and start to walk, hands on hips.
Tomorrow is my self-appointed rest day. I swear I’ll do 4 miles on my next run…..that 10K is only 3 months away!
Last Sunday, I hugged and kissed my daughter, Beth, and my grandson, Luca, good-bye at the airport. They were visiting from Australia for six weeks, and it was time to return to her husband, his dad. I was surprised that I bonded with this little 5 month old child in such a short time. We went to Twins baseball games, shopped, watched his uncle run a marathon, went to a winery, a wedding, a wonderful Mexican restaurant, and the homes of many relatives and friends. We had inside jokes, as I would create goofy songs that would make him giggle. But now it was time to say goodbye.
On a map of the world, you will see that Minneapolis is about as far as you can possibly get from Melbourne. As Beth and Luca wound their way through security, I wondered when I would see them again and, worse yet, if Luca would remember me. Our hugs and kisses were interrupted by a crabby TSA worker—did he know the stories behind the people he separated with “You’re holding up the line!”
The guest room at our house looks very orderly again. The only reminder of Luca is a box of diapers Beth couldn’t take. The next time I see Luca, he’ll be on to a bigger size, or no diapers at all. He’ll be walking and maybe even saying a few words.
Will he remember me?
As I mentioned before, I was a middle school teacher of history. Every period was a blast—I loved what I was teaching and most of the kids loved it too. But this is looking at it retrospectively—there must be some reason why I quit?! Truthfully, there isn’t one. I just wanted to do something different. The story of my life. As I mentioned before in “Who am I?” I’m trying to answer that question myself. In the past few years I’ve taken up running, took guitar lessons, took pastel classes and, oh yes, knitting classes. I’ve written an ebook mystery, started, but didn’t finish the sequel. And now I’m blogging. Truthfully, I’ve loved all of these endeavors and still pull them out now and then. (The running and knitting are winning—excuse the pun.) In reading this, none of this really defines who a person is, just what a person does. “Who am I” seems a little pretentious now because, really, who cares?
I am naming the robin nesting on my front light “Patience.” She has been sitting there for nearly two weeks. We have become accustomed to using the back or side door, so as not to disturb her. Leaving for a run today, I startled her, and she flew to the neighbor’s mailbox, glaring at me until I was well on my way (Yes, I kept turning around to watch!).
Who of us has the patience to sit still, day and night, for so long? I’m thinking she must leave the nest sometime, at least for food, but every time I peek, Patience is there, guarding her nest.