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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This time around, everything still hurt. But I wasn’t overwhelmed.
This time, the time flew by.
Because this time, I was having fun.
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.
Well, about some things, anyway.
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