Guilty as charged

For the second time this year, a sense of longing weakens me as I watch the people running along the streets. I can’t do that. Another calf muscle tear has set me back a step or two; no longer able to run … right now.

Give it time. Recover. Go for a walk instead.

My runner mindset cringes at the thought of going for a walk. Yay. A walk. It’ll take me twice as long to cover half the distance of my regular run. I won’t even work up a sweat, so it’s barely worth the effort or the time I’ll put into it. Such sour grapes. That’s the runner whining.

My anger soon gets a shot of reality when I think of Jennifer and others living with the same disease I have who only wish they could walk a tenth of the distance as me in 10 times the amount of time. And I wonder if they are weakened by a similar sense of longing every time they watch people walking along the streets. They can’t do that. Time and wicked MS exacerbations set them back a step or two; no longer able to walk … right now.

Take the time. Remember. Fake a smile instead.

I only hope I’ll never know what that’s like.

I pray I can recapture my strength and run. Push myself, train and enter a race. Throw my previous personal-best times out the window and set a new mark for me today. See my name and time in the race results; concrete proof that I still can put my best foot forward and stride across the finish line.

I only wish she could know what that’s like.

For us, I walk on with a renewed sense of grateful determination. And with every step I praise and curse this disease for what it’s doing: forcing us to be content with what we still have left, only to feel guilty for selfishly wanting more.

6 Responses to Guilty as charged

  1. Oh, you bring tears to my eyes to hear your honesty about your longing. I write poems about this far more often than I give myself permission to post. Within a week one about my memories of dancing will appear. I too hope my current level of disability is as far as this goes for me but ….

  2. Don’t run for your sake. Run for all our sakes, and whatever you do, keep on running. I used to be a jogger (a 5k most mornings and 20 miles on Saturday or Sunday). Now I spend most of my time in a chair, even have limited ability to use a walker. But I, and so many others, do as much as we can. Keep running so that we can live vicariously through you.

    Running, for me jogging may be the one physical activity I miss most of all. Now I use it as a metaphor. “I may not be able to run anymore, but I am still in the race.” You are in the race, exactly where we all want you to be.


  3. Dan, I would hate to have anybody feel guilty because they can run and I can’t. That would just take the enjoyment out of it for them, without doing me a darn bit of good. What would be the sense in that? If you can run, do it, and enjoy it. You can tell them I said it was OK.

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