Sunday, June 16, 2019

Once I Could Run

It's coming up on eight am this cloudy cool Sunday.  As I write, many runners are passing on sleepy Plains Road.  A Father's Day Race, Carol tells me.  The competitors are long gone, flying past.  Now the stragglers are passing in ones and twos, a couple of them even walking.  The lead dozen ran by in silence, the first one carrying an American Flag.  The middle ran in conversational clusters mostly, with some outliers.  I'm guessing this is some kind of fundraiser like the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot.

Seeing them hurry past, their feet pounding the pavement, brought up two feelings:  a fond memory of the days when I ran several times a week, and the reminder from my knees that those days are long over.  I never ran competitively; I ran because I loved the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground, of my breathing in counterpoint.  Once my body hit its aerobic stride I felt like I could keep it up forever.  I had no interest in racing anyone, in changing my rhythm to contend for the lead.  I wanted only to run, to feel my breath, my heartbeat, to enjoy the day.

I miss it.

While musing about my younger self, my undisciplined mind began to ponder the word RUN.  As with so much of this colorful, complex language we call English, the word has several contextual variations in meaning.  I give you some phrases to consider:

Run it up the flagpole,

Let's run a hundred copies.

In the long run.

There's a run in my stocking.

Does this bus run on time?

First run feature.

Let's run over your lines again.

It might be fun to take a run at coming up with your own set.  If you have the same discipline level in your mind as I, it could occupy you for quite a while.