40 Words: “Fragile” (02.29.2016)


We are not meant to be superhuman.

Last year, I managed to run my first race, EVER. I ran a 10k in March, and then, somehow, trained to run a half-marathon in October.

It was, by far, the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

I was on a roll: my goal, my plan, my intention was to run the Tallahassee Half Marathon in February. In fact, I bought my registration and tweaked my training appropriately.

I had big plans.

But training over the holidays isn’t easy. I ate too much, skipped days here and there, and before you knew it I was a bit behind.

“No big,” I thought, “I just ran a half-marathon! I can make this up easily.”

One day in December I had an 8-mile run scheduled, and at about the 6 mile mark I felt a strange twinge in my ankle. It wasn’t enough to stop my run, but it was worth being aware of.

In the next day or two, I’d figured out that I had stumbled into another bout of tendonitis. It wasn’t painful to walk, but I definitely felt it when I tried to run.

(I had tendonitis back in 2013, and it put me in a walking boot for 4 months; I knew this wasn’t to be trifled with.)

In terms of the Tallahassee Half—my goal, and my plan—I was *done*.

I had to face the hard facts, and shut down my training and surrender my goal.

It was sobering.

But life is full of unexpected twists and turns and hardships. It’s just that way.

Kind of like missing 4 days of Blog Posts in a Lenten Series.

I had no intention of skipping those days, but last week just threw some curve balls at me, some anticipated, some not.

But (as Michael Caine said in Batman, and Rob Brydon so eloquently imitated in The Trip,

“Why do we fall, Mr. Wayne?”

The only real option, it seems is to get up and start walking (or crawling) again.

Or writing.

A couple weeks ago, I started running again. In order to be safe, I decided to return to a “couch-to-5k” program that I’d used before, so that I could make sure I didn’t stress my ankle out too much. I pack it in ice, and do stretches, and take Motrin.

(In other words, remind myself that I’m not 25 anymore.)

It’s been working, but make know mistake, it’s a bit embarrassing in light of my ambitions: instead of celebrating my 2nd half, I’m doing 3 minute runs followed by 3 minutes of walking.

Not exactly setting any records.

But this is what life is: a constant exercise in adjustments and tweaks to new circumstances.

I’d planned to write every day in Lent.

That didn’t happen.

But I’m still committed to this project, and though it’s embarrassing to have to admit that I missed 4 days because I couldn’t adequately balance my schedule, I really have no choice, except to sit down in front of my computer again, and *start over.*

It’s no sin to be fragile and imperfect.

Welcome to the human race… again.


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