I am not a runner. My legs are too short, and my feet are too big. I am not built for speed. I have calves the sizes of cannon balls. I try to remember the joy of running as a child, but I can’t. Instead, there are memories of being picked last for school yard games and of saving my pennies and dimes until I could buy a pair of PF Flyers. Their advertisement assured me I would be able to “run faster and jump higher.” They lied but I run.
I am not a runner. I am too old and have arthritic knees. I am too heavy because I have spent the past year attempting to get over a clumsy misstep and can’t seem to outrun my diet. When I get out of bed, I make the sounds my father made when he was my age. I have a “Rice Krispy” back. I move and it makes a “snap, crackle, popping” sound but I run.
I am not a runner. I didn’t start until I was fifty-six and at age fifty-seven, I ran my first 5K. Twenty-four minutes and some change. Good for a middle of the field finish…in my age group. This morning I ran-walked hard enough to finish four miles in forty-six minutes. Not fast but sometime next week I’ll try for five…maybe. I shouldn’t be happy, but I am, and I will run.
I am not a runner. I am not depressed when I run, I am depressed when I don’t run. I am my most creative when I run because I create stories to avoid thinking about the pain of running. The pain of running is not as bad as the pain of not running. I am not a runner, but I run.