mundane adventures in running
I feel my age ever more keenly. A creaking vulnerability creeps over my body. With every passing day I further ossify.
It leaves me quite scared. For all the unhealthy things I do and have done, the thing I fear most is the accident which knocks out my training for a year or stops me running for good.
I broke my collar bone a few years ago, cycling. Since then, the most serious effort I’ve put in on the bike is on the turbo trainer. Real cycling on the roads nowadays tends to be sluggishly slow fluorescent clad commuting. I can’t bear the thought of breaking something else; the pain of the injury and the long recovery.
I make it sound like my fear comes solely from the experience of that accident. Not really, that’s just a neat way to explain it. We try to punctuate the narratives of our lives with nice little discrete explanations like that, but they seldom have the damascene significance we attribute to them.
If I’m honest with myself, it’s not about that one specific incident. It’s more than that: it’s the firm knowledge that my body is maturing. Its starting to actualise itself as a thing in its own right, with its own character. And its character? It’s an obstinate bastard.
There are tell tale signs, little ways that my body lets slip about its new found character. The hangovers. They get worse as we get older. My body refuses to me off when I drink too much. The cold. I used to be a warm person, my metabolism somehow ran on all cylinders all the time and kept me baking. Not any more; I get cold, freezing sometimes. What are you trying to tell me body? unknown, unexpected pains when i wake up in the morning, needing to piss in the middle of the night. It’s all this obstinate body, fighting against me.
It’s worse with the injuries. Belligerent shit of a body. Slight twinges and aches can take months to go. Me and my body used to get on, we were friends. I’d throw my body around and it would always recover. I could starve it, poison it, bash it about, and after the initial pain body would forgive me and let me get on with life. Now it refuses to just get better.*
*It’s worth noting that I don’t really believe this, I was just mentally experimenting with the idea that my body had a personality of its own. These mental meanderings were brought about by the most stupid accident I’ve had for some time. On Saturday, after a week of easy running and horrible cold, the Boy decided he wanted to play fight. We ran around the flat occasionally stopping to pop some kung fu moves. Sadly, in chase, we rounded a corner at exactly the same moment. Rather than crush him, I flung myself to one side, bashed my knee and my wrist. My knee has swollen up like a grapefruit. My wrist seems to be sprained. So… I’m off running. I think it’s going to be at least a week before I can go out again. In the mean time I will be willing my lovely, kind, generous body to recover as soon as it can.