Back to where I started

When I was little, I thought my house was huge.

We had a long lane, a big country kitchen, and a pool. I had several hidey-holes, including my very own kid-size room in the basement (I’d later find out that the technical term for said room was “crawl space”, and that they tend to be full of spiders. I’d like to think mine wasn’t full of arachnids, but if it was, it might explain my phobia of those ugly suckers).

arachnophobia

Our backyard was on a hill, and at the bottom of the hill was the pool. One of my favorite things to do was a sort of running-long-belly-flop. I’d back all the way up to the house, then sprint downhill and hurl myself into the pool, getting as much air as I could when I jumped.

Belly flop

My other favorite thing was to climb “my tree” – a soft maple my brother had planted years before. I could climb high enough that I could step from its branches onto our upper deck, which was just outside of that big country kitchen.

Sometimes, from the “top” of my tree I’d see our next door neighbors barbecuing dinner and I’d wave to them from my perch.

monkey

Recently, I had a dream I was running past my old house. Admittedly, the house looked wildly different in my dream (I blame my pre-sleep nachos for that), but it was nevertheless huge.

The next afternoon, I decided to take a drive past it, just to see what it looked like now.

going home

As I turned onto my old street and approached the old house, I couldn’t help but shake my head.

It was so much smaller than I remembered.

I stopped the car and sat for a minute, taking it in. I then moved the car ahead a bit, to see whether I could get a peek at the backyard.

It, too, was smaller than I remembered, and my climbing tree was gone.

My huge backyard hill was little more than a small slope.

reality

It was about this time that I noticed my old neighbor. She was in her garage, loading up her car.

I thought about getting out to talk, but I knew I had to get home. As I shifted in to gear, she looked up. I smiled and waved like I used to, and moved on.

waving goodbye

Soon after my trip down memory lane, I ran my first 5K since injuring my foot. While I was hobble-jogging away, I couldn’t help but think of my first 5K years ago. The distance felt so long, and the effort was so overwhelming.

Everything just hurt.

first 5KM

This time around, everything still hurt. But I wasn’t overwhelmed.

This time, the time flew by.

Because this time, I was having fun.

hurts so good

It’ll be a while before I’m back in marathon shape, and I’m okay with that. For now, I’m busy running down my hills and I’m climbing my (figurative) trees.

I’m smiling and waving at my neighbors as I hobble by.

I’m back to where I started, and I’ve changed my perspective.

still afraid

Well, about some things, anyway.

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24 thoughts on “Back to where I started

  1. I always thought my grandparent’s house was so wonderful until my husband (upon seeing it the first time) pointed out it was hardly more than a shack! It was the love and warmth of that place that was wonderful!

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    • Yep, I totally understand. So many things in life are about perspective. Sometimes our “mountains” are just little “slopes”, and sometimes our “mansions” are just little wee shacks, but it all comes down to how we see them. And, hey, Grandma’s house can’t be anything but wonderful, no matter what its size. 🙂

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  2. When you’re a kid the whole world that is your backyard is your oyster.

    When I was in first grade, I was so little that my feet dangled when I sat all the way back in my desk chair. I thought those desk chairs were so huge. I knew I grew because at the end of the year, my feet could touch the floor, Some years later, I wandered back into my old 1st grade classroom. I was shocked by how tiny those desk chairs were.

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  3. Your stick figure mom’s comments…I’m dying laughing!! I am thrilled to hear you are out and at it again, even if not at the pace and distance you’d like. Runners are of that rare breed that actually equates pain with good things. 🙂

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    • hahaha thanks, Karen! I don’t do my mom’s sense of humor justice, I really don’t. I’m very slowly getting back into running… I’m trying to be an obedient patient but it’s so hard!

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    • Thank you, Molly! Injury recovery feels like such a slow process (even though I know it isn’t all that bad), I’m working really hard at keeping everything in perspective. I’m also trying to be a good patient and pace myself… but I have a feeling I’ll be falling off that particular wagon any day now. 🙂

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  4. Fleck, whether it is 1 k, or 100 k, you are an inspiration.
    So glad you were able to go back to the house of your childhood. So much has changed in Southern Ontario these past few years, it must have been good to see your former home, even though it was not exactly as you envisioned it. Sorry to hear about the tree. It would have been sad to see it gone.
    I know you will do well as you rehab, heal and retrain. You have a huge heart.
    ~Carl~ xx

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  5. A few years ago, I drove by one of my childhood homes, and it looked smaller too. A young family, not to different from mine, live there now. I was with my dad, and when we were staring out the car window, we saw the father in the yard (the kids were out playing) and I said we should get out and say hello so we’d look less like creeper weirdos. The dad was kind of delighted to talk to us and let us know that the hideous avocado green and harvest gold carpet was still in the basement rec room along with the paneling. My dad had installed it back in the 70s.

    Anyway, it was nice to see that the old neighborhood was still young families. Thanks for reminding me of that memory lane trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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