i think i overdid it. tweaked my knee running. this body—still fairly fit and strong—sometimes reminds me i'm not not as young as i used to be. or slightly overzealous? both, maybe.

and so i break out my bicycle. there's no doubt where i'll ride: along the back roads. the adventure is altogether different from trips in the car. everything is slower and more quiet. no rumbling engine. no radio. no djs jabbering. very little traffic whizzing by. no infant-toddler-teen screeching in the back seat. instead, wind sweeps back my hair. feels like i'm flying. i can hear the buzz of bees. the chirps of birds and crickets. hear water lap against the shore and run in rivulets between rocks and trees. i'm blown over by the sweet scent of fresh-cut hay and clover. of salty sea air. of smoke from a nearby burn. red winged blackbirds dive and dart. hawks swoop from tree to field. workmen smile when they recognize me. they've seen me drive by with calvin a hundred times. i see the carhart dog walker whose name i now know. i stop to talk with him again. he tells me intimate details about his difficulties. i try to think of ways i can help.

the ten-mile escape renews me. mostly, i've forgotten about my woes. but it's impossible to completely elude worries of my son and his condition. sadly, the angst is well-seated in my bones. two weeks ago we lessened his keppra. hope it might help. since then he's gone longer between seizures. not by much, though. i've put extra cannabis oil on board. maybe it's helping. i think so. we lessened the keppra again this morning. i'll let you know how it goes.

i get back into my meditative state. the rare and glorious feeling of adventure and escape. runners pass me by. warms my heart when they wave and smile. some of them run quite far. as i see the road stretch out before me, i imagine being a marathoner. i wonder what sends or takes them such distances. hardship, loss, grief, trauma, stress, joy, exhilaration, reward, endeavor, competitiveness, obsession, evasion? i know several (of these feelings and these athletes.) i'd love to know the source of their ambition. years ago, i fleetingly considered training for one. i wonder how it feels. to run three times as far as my longest day's swim or jog. to get into a zone where nothing else matters but stride and step and breath. is it a dreaded pain? a kind of high? a refuge safe from other harms? hard to know. perhaps all three.

my dear friend joanie is an olympic gold medalist and world-class marathoner. she lives on a nearby back road. she trained up until the day she delivered her firstborn. she swears my swimming workouts didn't hurt my unborn child. rather, she's convinced they helped equip him to survive. recently, she wrote me about my mothering:

none of my marathon efforts will ever match yours. unfathomable efforts by you for so long and with such love, strength and dedication.

i return to her words often. they make me blush and weep. seventeen years of spoon feeding, diaper changing, butt wiping, bathing, dressing, lifting, hand holding, coaching, teaching, watching, worrying, nursing, aiding and advocating is a slog. it's not a challenge i signed up for. nor one for which i could ever really prepare. but i've long known i have stamina—for racing the 400-yard individual medley and the mile, swimming fourteen-thousand grueling yards in four hours (and something close to that on consecutive days), biking marathon distances as a child, nine months unemployed. i just put my head down. one stroke, one step, one day at a time. breathe deeply. exhale well. pace myself. try to hit my stride. lean on my peeps. imagine a smart event in which i finish strong.

maybe i'm a marathoner after all.


  1. My heart is filled with such, expansive and joyous energy upon reading your post this morning! I feel so deeply and irrevocably connected to your incredibly powerful endurance athletic prowess. As I meditated this morning, I meditated on a log ago typo (typos being something I excel at), when I wrote "wholemess" while intending "wholeness." Then I thought, "Isn't that what I am working at, "creating wholeness out of this whole mess?" This world seems ever so much messier now.

    As part of my morning musings this morning, I am seeing you, surrounded by all those whom you tagged and legions of others, who are standing along the sidelines, cheering you madly as we recognize you as an Olympian champion of life! May you feel our on-going standing O!

    1. you are so right, rita. wholeness out of this whole mess! I feel you! xoxo