Saddle up, folks, Seabiscuit’s trotting to the gate.
Time passed, and eventually I found myself in a solid workout routine. Spin, run, rest. Spin, run, rest. I even made it around my neighborhood (thank goodness for circles) a few times. I was feeling pretty smug. The short, scoliosis-ized, lob-sided individual who no one thought could be a runner was becoming one. I certainly wasn’t breaking any records, but I was consistently improving. I even had a new nickname, Seabiscuit. Mmm, biscuits.
One spring Saturday morning, I laced up my shoes and headed out for a jaunt around the neighborhood. It was so early, my only companions were the birds. As I trotted away, I noticed that I felt pretty good.
No. I felt really good.
For the first time, I wasn’t digging deep to get myself through the workout. I wasn’t thinking about lions, gazelles, food, or drinks. In fact, for the first time in as long as I could remember, I wasn’t thinking. And it was glorious.
I rounded the last bend in the road to my house, and glanced to the left. I saw a bunny, blissfully grazing in the morning dew.
“BUNNEHHHHHHHHH!” My inner 4 year old cried with glee. Unfortunately for me, the little bunny was on my short side. And while I was turning to look at the wee lagomorph, my long leg caught the edge of a heaved sidewalk tile.
Face. Concrete. Body. Sliding. Concrete. Ow.
I remember looking up and seeing the bunny, unflinching, looking down at me. There was nothing but judgment on his face.
And then I saw the bus.
I stared into the bunny’s deep brown eyes.
“Not today, War Admiral.”
I didn’t check to see if anything was broken or if my pants were ripped. I could feel blood, but I refused to look down to check how much. Seabiscuit would finish this run, and Seabiscuit would sprint it.
“Jerk”, I said as I passed the judgmental bunny, still looking at me over his shoulder. The bus was now a block away. I looked like garbage, but at least I was still running.
“You’re fine”, I said to myself.
I sped up. The bus was now half a block away, and I could see my house.
As I passed the bus, I noticed there was no one on it but the driver, who didn’t even glance in my direction. My crisis had gone completely unnoticed to, at least one of, its two witnesses. And I had finished the run.
An honest runner will tell you that, to be a good runner, you have to be a bit nuts. Sometimes, the only thing that gets you through a bad run is what’s going on in your head. It can be almost anything – mind games, talking to imaginary friends, or thoughts of post-run drinkskies. That day, for me, it was channeling a tiny, wounded, underdog racehorse.
P.S. For the record, I love bunnies. I have two, lovely, jerk bunnies named Dean and Maggie. Watch for upcoming posts on the terrible and wonderful world of lagomorphs.
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