06.25.08

Physics Lessons

Posted in Life in general, Writers at 7:45 am by Marion

It’s not just tap dancing that invites me to fall on my face. I flounder in lots of sports.

These days I run, sometimes for long distances. Not fast at all, but I no longer have to worry about that.

There were plenty of times in elementary school and beyond when that seemed to be all that mattered … who’s faster, stronger, better. Such as those horrible fitness tests. Once they timed how long you could hang on a bar … I immediately dropped to the floor! What a hoot. As if you need more humiliation in junior high school! One of my classmates held onto that bar for a half hour.

I was pretty good at kickball — and could generally get that red ball to the school-yard fence. And Red Rover … I figured out how to break the chain of held hands by running through at an angle. Otherwise, I avoided P.E. like lunchroom mashed potatoes.

Then in high school, I discovered running. It never really clicked, but I kept trying.

In 1993, a miracle happened. I quit smoking and began running. I ran three miles that first day … and the next … and the next. Soon I was running for an hour and a half several times a week.

I’m not fast — about a 13-minute mile — but running has saved my life.

Now I’m run about three miles every day or so, with a long run once or twice a week. During those magical times, my mind drifts into a calm place where I can dream about my novel … short stories … what the world means … what I value in life.

I return from these runs happier … more at peace … grateful.

It’s not a first-place finish, and I’m not even likely to win my age bracket.

But running is a gift and a joy that sometimes I think might just be able to save the world.

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