November 13, 2005

A Dog In A Cage

Many people go to church and pray on Sunday. So do I. But there are no pews in my church. And though there is sometimes a cross to bear, nobody was ever nailed to it. The aisles in my church do not demand silence and when the sun shines through it is not filtered by stained glass but by tinted glasses. The only God I've been known to pray to answers by the name of Nike, but a simple swoosh will do.

Running is my religion - and I'm a very very religious person.

Running keeps me sane. It is my therapy and my release. The solitude on the road, the continuous movement on the pavement, the adrenaline coursing through my veins - it all seems to cleanse me, physically and emotionally. I've been running for nearly 30 years and it just keeps getting better. I can't imagine a world where I do not run. My greatest fear is that something happens and I'm never able to run again. Take away my hearing, my voice, my hands. But, please, don't take my feet from me.

I'm a different man when I run consistently. A much better man. For some reason, I tend to navigate through life's obstacles a lot more clearly and remain more level-headed about things that would otherwise cause my anxiety to rise up and ring the proverbial bell. So it's a good sign that I have been easing myself back into the running game lately as I recover from the achilles strain that has been haunting my sanity. In fact, as I read through the past few posts, I realize how desperately I've been missing running. Honestly, I'm a bit scared of myself at this point.

Normally, on any given Sunday, I run. I wake up with the sun at 6am to read the New York Times and by 8:30, I'm off. Yet here I am on Sunday night and I haven't run. This morning was a little different though and it made me realize that this Ironman training malarkey may cause me to change my habits a bit. Cat really wanted to swim in the A.M. and since I hadn't seen her in awhile I decided to go along for a nice dip in the pool. The truth of the matter is that I also need a lot of motivation to get my sorry ass in the pool, and seeing Cat in her bikini is plenty of motivation to get me going wherever I need to be, trust me on that one. As it turns out, the swim was amazing. Tough - so many sets of 25m, 50m and 100m swims that I felt like I needed an abacus to keep it all straight - but great nontheless.

A normal person would chalk that up to a stunningly successful day of exercise. But nobody ever said I was normal.

It is 4:00 now and want to run so badly it hurts. My feet can't stay still as I write this and I can feel the adrenaline building in my body. I feel like a dog trapped in a cage, barking madly at the running squirrel taunting him from inches away. I'm begging to get outside and move. I'm antsy, can't keep my mind focused. I'm pacing back and forth, moving this item there and that item here like some ADD-inflicted cleaning woman on coke.

And just as suddenly, I realize that the only thing keeping me from running is that I'm writing this silly diatribe to you - whomever the hell "you" are. So enough already. It's time for me to go find my sanity, which is waiting out there for me to run right towards it.

I'm off.
It's time to go to church.
Let us all pray.


ItsTJoint said...

When I read the first paragraph, I thought that your new church would definitely be NFL football like everyone else in America.