I like to think my walks are islands of solitude when my best thinking happens. No music through ear buds so I can hear my thoughts and pay attention to my surroundings. (Safety first!) I’ve forgotten that I’m never really alone.
After logging 14,000 plus steps yesterday I was mainly pleased to have gotten out early despite some aches. A cold morning, the last for a little while, but I was dressed for the second and third mile not the first so I was fairly comfortable.
Gloves would have been nice though.
I walked down the alley that passes our church and that’s when the inner conversation started. The Right Brain piped up: “Oh take that photo! The light is great and the clock shows how early it is!”
I was happy to oblige because basically the RB was correct. But if I always agree, we never really move.
The app regularly broke the silence with update: time, distance, pace. No judgment, just facts. But the Left Brain took offense: “Move faster! Three years ago you were 5 minutes faster!”
I felt myself speed up, but the cranky Right Knee immediately showed herself: “Wait a minute, this is how we got into this mess. We moved too fast for my healing self.”
I settled back into a steady, albeit slower pace. The various parts of the body would chime in but I let them fade to the background. Then we got to this place:
and I agreed with RB — I had to stop. Groans from the Left Brain that I wasn’t making any progress. Squeaks from the Right Knee about all this stopping and starting when I moved again.
“I’m going to buckle, I just know it!” Right Knee exclaimed. “I’m going to collapse and then you’ll have to use that phone to call the paramedics and go to the hosptial in an ambulance! I’ll be useless! Useless I tell you.” A drama queen, that right knee.
Then, for the first time in four years, the LEFT Knee spoke up: “How come you pay her all the attention? I’m going to hurt now too. Just see what happens when you favor one knee over the other. I responded to cortisone in 2011, how come she can’t do that?”
The Left Brain ordered both knees to shut the hell up because dammit all, we’re slowing down.
Mid Back decided that she needed to offer some thoughts: “You know, I feel sort of achy. If you’d only just use the mind-body connection and make the abs do some of my work, I’d have some support. You remember that Pilates training, don’t you? I showed up and helped you do Teaser, but did the abs do anything? Nooooo! It’s all me, it’s always me. Make the transverse abs do something instead of just hanging out and swaying my options.” (Apparently, backs are sarcastic.)
I actually did listen to the back, brought the abs back under control and all the complaints faded for a bit, whispering in the background but at an ignorable decibel.
All at once, coming toward me in a single, unified running body was a cross country team. Boys and girls moving at a steady pace, taking turns at the lead to draft for the others.
“I want us to do that,” whispered the Left Brain.
“Don’t they make a lovely picture,” mused the Right Brain.
“We wish we could move with such ease,” mourned the Knees.
“At least they have good posture, bet the abs are involved, ” muttered the Back.
Silence from all as we considered how to move that lightly, that freely again.
And then Right Brain saw another photo. “Please, oh please! I promise it’s the last one!”
I started to head out of the park down a street I’d never walked before. Pretty houses still dressed for Halloween, though maybe fewer ghosts in deference to Thanksgiving. The air was still cold, but the magic of the second mile made it feel comfortable.
And then the Glutes Triplets — Max, Mede and Min — made their presence known. “If you don’t stop this soon, we’re going to make getting up and down the stairs and in and out of chairs (“ooh, a rhyme!” from Right Brain) a raging agony for the rest of the day.
I thought, hmm, good day for Foam Rolling.
There was immediate silence.
“Take your time,” came a small chorus. And so I did.
Will see what happens tomorrow.